SHORT STORIES Thanksgiving One day an expert in time management was speaking to a group of business students and, to drive

home a point, used an illustration those students will never forget. As he stood in front of the group of high-powered overachievers he said, Okay, time for a quiz Then he pulled out a one-gallon, wide mouth mason jar and set it on the table in front of him. Then he produced about a dozen fist-sized rocks and carefully placed them, one at a time, into the jar. When the jar was filled to the top and no more rocks would fit inside, he asked, Is this jar full? Everyone in the class said, Yes. Then he said, “Really?” He reached under the table and pulled out a bucket of gravel. Then he dumped some gravel in and shook the jar causing pieces of gravel to work themselves down into the space between the big rocks. Then he asked the group once more, Is the jar full? By this time the class was on to him. Probably not, one of them answered. Good he replied. He reached under the table and brought out a bucket of sand. He started dumping the sand in the jar and it went into all of the spaces left between the rocks and the gravel. Once more he asked the question, Is this jar full? No the class shouted. Once again he said, Good. Then he grabbed a pitcher of water and began to pour it in until the jar was filled to the brim. Then he looked at the class and asked, What is the point of this illustration? One eager beaver raised his hand and said, The point is, no matter how full your schedule is, if you try really hard you can always fit some more things in it. No, the speaker replied, that’s not the point. The truth this illustration teaches us is: If you don’t put the big rocks in first, you’ll never get them in at all. What are the big rocks in your life? Time with your loved ones, faith, education, your dreams, a worthy cause? Teaching or mentoring others? Remember to put these BIG ROCKS in first or you’ll never get them in at all. So, tonight, or in the morning, when you are reflecting on this short story, ask yourself this question: What are the big rocks in my life? Then, put those in your jar first.

I LOVE YOU, PAPA Devyani was sitting beside her ailing father. He had contracted Pneumonia, after being out on a chilly winter evening in January. She read out short stories from a book to him. He listened with attention as she read the author's description of a garden in a valley, abloom with flowers of various hues. He said, “Devyani, it's time to sow the seeds for the

spring flowers. I don't think I'll be able to do it this year. Would you do it for me?” “Yes, Papa,” said Devyani happily. For the next few days, Devyani organized her work so that she would be free to work with the gardener, when he came at four in the afternoon. She supervised the sowing of the seeds. She made careful considerations of the height and colour of the flowers that would bloom. She reported to her father what she had been organizing in his beloved garden. Father's eyes shone with paternal pride as he saw his lovely daughter working responsibly with the gardener. “Papa, the garden will be in full bloom in March. It's your birthday on March 30th. You know what; we'll have you fit as a fiddle by then. We'll invite all your friends and have a feast together.” Father smiled happily and nodded in agreement. Come February, but father was not better. He contracted a chest infection. Some days later it spread to his lungs. All the antibiotics seemed to have no effect. Father coughed and wheezed day and night. There was an array of cough syrups, tablets, steamers etc on his bed side table. Devyani and her mother nursed him lovingly and tirelessly. But day by day, he deteriorated. He became weaker and weaker, till on March 20th, he passed away in his sleep. Devyani and mother bade a tearful goodbye to the man they loved so much. On the 28th of March, Devyani called up all her father's friends and invited them to a garden party to celebrate her father's sixtieth birthday. They were surprised, yet intrigued. Devyani baked a cake and iced it with a “Kiss.” She placed it on a table in the centre of the garden. Some other eats were also organized. But it was not the iced kiss on the cake that caught their attention. The flowers took everyone's breath away! The flowers were planted in such a way that the pattern made by their height and colours read as 'I love you Papa!' As Devyani sang “Happy Birthday to you, dear Papa' she raised her tear filled eyes to the heavens and said, “Papa, I know you can see your garden of flowers, I love you, and I always will. Happy Birthday to you!”

THE FAVOURITE CHILD The woman had three sons and six daughters. Her day was full of chores to fulfill the numerous demands of her growing troop. She was always busy with cooking, washing, cleaning, dusting ironing and also counselling! One day her youngest son fell sick. She called up the doctor and requested him to drop by and examine him. As he checked the boy’s throat, he asked the lady, “Madam, how many children do you have?” She hesitated for a moment, then said, “As many as I can take care of!” The man watched her as she sat beside her five year old son, who was burning with high fever. She dipped small hand towels into a basin of water, turn by turn and used them to wipe the boy’s burning brow. From the doorway, her teenaged daughter, called out, “Mama, where are my hairpins?” “They’re in the brown box on the console, honey.” Just then her other son popped in, “I

have to stay back after school for football today, I need an extra Tiffin, Mom.” She smiled and said, “Yes, darling I remember you have a football match today. I’ve packed an extra sandwich in the white box along with your Tiffin. It’s lying on the table, next to your breakfast. Now, run along and let me talk to the doctor.” The doctor admired the ease with which she was in command of everything around her. He asked her, “Which one of them is your favourite?” She said simply, “The one who needs me most.” “Which one?” he asked in surprise. She said, “The one who is sick; the one who is sad; the one who is lonely.... the one who needs me most ... That is my favourite child!”

Mrs. Thompson and Teddy Her name was Mrs. Thompson and his was 'Teddy'. As she stood in front of her 5th grade class on the very first day of school, she told the children a lie. Like most teachers, she looked at her students and said that she loved them all the same. But that was impossible, because there in the front row, slumped in his seat, was a little boy named Teddy Stoddard. Mrs. Thompson had watched Teddy the year before and noticed that he didn't play well with the other children, that his clothes were messy and that he constantly needed a bath. And Teddy could be unpleasant. It got to the point where Mrs. Thompson would actually take delight in marking his papers with a broad red pen, making bold X's and then putting a big "F" at the top of his papers. At the school where Mrs. Thompson taught, she was required to review each child's past records and she put Teddy's off until last. However, when she reviewed his file, she was in for a surprise. Teddy's first grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is a bright child with a ready laugh. He does his work neatly and has good manners ... He is a joy to be around." His second grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is an excellent student, well liked by his classmates, but he is troubled because his mother has a terminal illness and life at home must be a struggle." His third grade teacher wrote, "His mother's death had been hard on him. He tries to do his best, but his father doesn't show much interest and his home life will soon affect him if some steps aren't taken." Teddy's fourth grade teacher wrote, "Teddy is withdrawn and doesn't show much interest in school. He doesn't have many friends and he sometimes sleeps in class".

By now, Mrs Thompson realized the problem and she was ashamed of herself. She felt even worse when her students brought her Christmas presents, wrapped in beautiful ribbons and bright paper, except for Teddy's. His present was clumsily wrapped in the heavy, brown paper that he got from a grocery bag. Mrs Thompson took pains to open it in the middle of the other presents. Some of the children started to laugh when she found a rhinestone bracelet with some of the stones missing, and a bottle that was one quarter full of perfume. But she stifled the children's laughter when she exclaimed how pretty the bracelet was, putting it on, and dabbing some of the perfume on her wrist. Teddy Stoddard stayed after school that day just long enough to say, "Mrs. Thompson, today you smelled just like my Mom used to." After the children left she cried for at least an hour. On that very day, she quit teaching reading, and writing, and arithmetic. Instead, she began to teach children. Mrs. Thompson paid particular attention to Teddy. As she worked with him, his mind seemed to come alive. The more she encouraged him, the faster he responded. By the end of the year, Teddy had become one of the smartest children in the class and, despite her lie that she would love all the children the same, Teddy became one of her "teacher's pets." A year later, she found a note under her door, from Teddy, telling her that she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Six years went by before she got another note from Teddy. He then wrote that he had finished high school, third in his class, and she was still the best teacher he ever had in his whole life. Four years after that, she got another letter, saying that while things had been tough at times, he'd stayed in school, had stuck with it, and would soon graduate from college with the highest of honors. He assured Mrs.Thompson that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had in his whole life. Then four more years passed and yet another letter came. This time he explained that after he got his bachelor's degree, he decided to go a little further. The letter explained that she was still the best and favorite teacher he ever had. But now his name was a little longer - The letter was signed, Theodore F. Stoddard, MD. The story doesn't end there. You see, there was yet another letter that spring. Teddy said he'd met this girl and was going to be married. He explained that his father had died a couple of years ago and he was wondering if Mrs. Thompson might agree to sit in the place at the wedding that was usually reserved for the mother of the groom. Of course, Mrs Thompson did. And guess what? She wore that bracelet, the one with several rhinestones missing. And she made sure she was wearing the perfume that Teddy remembered his mother wearing on their last Christmas together. They hugged each other, and Dr. Stoddard whispered in Mrs. Thompson's ear, "Thank you, Mrs. Thompson, for believing in me.

Thank you so much for making me feel important and showing me that I could make a difference”. Mrs. Thompson, with tears in her eyes, whispered back. She said, "Teddy, you have it all wrong. You were the one who taught me that I could make a difference. I didn't know how to teach until I met you." Warm someone's heart today and pass this along. Please remember that wherever you go, and whatever you do, you will have the opportunity to touch and/or change a person's outlook. And please try to do it in a positive way.

COMFORT–A RARE COMMODITY

Being a mother of two very active boys, ages seven and one, I am sometimes worried abut their making a shambles of my carefully decorated home. In their innocence and play, they occasionally knock over my favourite lamp or upset my well designed arrangements. In these moments when nothing feels sacred, I remember the lesson I learned from my wise mother-in-law. This wise old lady is the mother of 6 and grandmother of 13. She is the embodiment of gentleness, patience and love. One Christmas, all the children and grandchildren were gathered as usual at her Home. Just the month before, Grandma had bought beautiful new white carpeting after living with the “Same Old Carpet” for over 25 years. She was overjoyed with the new look it gave her home. My brother-in-law, Arnie, had just distributed his gifts for all the nieces and nephews – prized homemade honey from his beehives. They were excited. But as fate would have it, eight year old Sheena spilled her tub of honey on grandma’s new carpeting and trailed it throughout the entire groundfloor of the house. Crying, Sheena ran into the kitchen and into grandma’s arms. “Grandma, I’ve spilled my honey all over your brand new carpet” Grandma knelt down, looked tenderly into Sheena’s tearful eyes and said, “Don’t worry sweetheart. We can get you more honey.”

PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL AND FEEDBACK A little boy went into a drug store, reached for a soda carton and pulled it over to the telephone. He climbed onto the carton so that he could reach the buttons on the phone and proceeded to punch in seven digits. The store owner listened to the following conversation.

can you give me the job of cutting your lawn?" The woman replied. who was listening to all this. He would try to stick his little fingers into the sockets in the walls. There is no more precious possession anyone could hold. "Son." "Lady. "Lady. the wife was overjoyed to know that soon she would be a mother. Daddy. The beautiful baby boy was born. He was embarrassed by his earlier overreaction. the little girl brought the gift to her father the next morning and said. I will cut your lawn for half the price of the person who cuts your lawn now." Again the woman answered in the negative. The little boy found more perseverance and offered. It is told that the man kept that gold box by his bed for years and whenever he was discouraged. "No thanks." The woman responded that she was very satisfied with the person who was presently cutting her lawn. "I already have someone to cut my lawn. and he begged for her forgiveness. When the boy turned three. He yelled at her. Then one day.. I blew kisses into the box. walked over to the boy and said. "Don't you know that when you give someone a present.The boy asked. "Oh. friends. All for you. so on Sunday you will have the prettiest lawn in all of North Palm Beach. they would carefully remove the tape and restore it back after the work was . Needless to say. Every time they needed to use a socket. The druggist. he would take out an imaginary kiss and remember the love of the child who had put it there. I like that positive spirit and would like to offer you a job. there's supposed to be something inside it?" The little girl looked up at him with tears in her eyes and said. Florida. He put his arms around his little girl. family or God. Nevertheless. With a smile on his face. Daddy. I like your attitude." The father was crushed. the little boy replaced the receiver. OUR BABY HAS GONE A couple had been married for ten years. each of us as humans have been given a gold container filled with unconditional love and kisses from our children. he was the apple of his parent’s eyes. I'll even sweep your curb and your sidewalk. The couple shared the joy of the baby growing in her tummy all through the nine months. a man punished his 3-year-old daughter for wasting a roll of gold wrapping paper." The little boy replied. but they had no child. it is not empty. but his anger flared again when he found the box was empty. he seemed to have a fascination for electric plugs and sockets. "This is for you. Money was tight and he became infuriated when the child tried to decorate a box to put under the Christmas tree. Father took some cello-tape and covered all the sockets in the house. Daddy. I was just checking on the job I already have!" Kiss in a Box! The story goes that some time ago. In a very real sense.. "Lady.

found his way to the uncovered socket in the wall. A successful relationship needs falling in love over and over again many times with the same person! THE JUNGLE A king once got separated from his kinsmen while chasing a deer. He had no choice but to carry the wet logs of wood to the market to sell it. wet wood! Where was the catch? . Playfully he pressed the switch with his other hand. Do what you like with it. so it was impossible to burn the wood to make coal. the mother used the vacuum cleaner at one of the sockets. A minute or two later the baby got up and incidentally.” Their child was not going to come back. because they were too heavy for him to carry to the market place. He said. “Honey. It took only a few seconds. After that she forgot to cover the socket with tape. He gave us the beautiful experience of being mother and father. he knocked at the door of a tiny cottage in the jungle. “Can you give me a place where I can cut trees and sell them?” The king took him far away to the edge of another jungle and said. But perhaps the joy was meant to be short lived. while taking leave of the wood cutter. The ground was full of slush. The wood cutter being a simpleton asked. “This is yours from today. When the monsoon season started. it was already too late. When she went in for a bath. the child was asleep in his baby cot. He picked up a small pair of scissors and stuck its prongs into the socket. there was heavy rainfall and the wood became wet. our baby as gone” The man drove home like the wind. smile because it happened.done. We have to accept God’s will. The woodcutter was very happy. That’s what destiny had in store for us. Do you think he rebuked his wife for her negligence? No. “It’s all over. its okay. the buyer offered a sum that was a hundred times more than he was paying earlier. Several months passed. what he could give in return for his hospitality. Mother heard the baby scream as the powerful current shot through his little body.” The wood cutter would cut trees and burn them to make coal. He wandered alone in the forest. he held her in his arms for she had also lost her only child. He offered him his own bed to sleep along with some simple but tasty food. He’s gone. It’s a package deal. The wood cutter was confused! Earlier he was supplying coal whereas now it was wood and that too. Don’t cry because it’s over. Love is unconditional. they still had each other to live for. It was opened by a poor woodcutter who gave the 'stranger' a warm welcome. In the morning. But. Unable to control herself she called her husband and cried bitterly. When he showed the wood to the buyer. he’s left us. All the virtues and vices of your partner come packaged in one capsule. One day. the king disclosed his real identity and asked him. By the time she reached him. As dusk fell.

“Children. He had cut and burnt hundreds of Sandalwood trees to make coal. little realizing the value of this precious wood. But. You have to promise me that you shall not question or object to anything that I may wish to do for my parents or any expenditure that I may ever wish to make for them. I met a girl while I was in the United States and wish to marry her. both the boys went abroad.The buyer told him that the wood that he had brought was no ordinary wood. They may have to extend a palm in front of their children for their daily needs and expenses. by now he could have been a very. had laid a condition before he had married her. the girl. very rich man. I LOVE MY PARENTS Shashi and her husband were the proud parents of two young boys. I have something to share with you. she is a white girl!” Now. it is perhaps too late. The older one. by the time we realise that we are wasting our lives. But. the son was very sure that he wanted to marry. at a party.” The parents were pleased but apprehensive. Well! They got married and lived in the United States. they did not expect. They were earning well enough to have a very comfortable life. that was something. Young men and women! Whether or not your parents are in need of financial help. “He had said to his fiancé. I met your daughter-in-law recently. we had gone to Singapore for a vacation. They were an orthodox Hindu family. They lived in Mumbai. make it a point to give them something out of what you earn. “I have a condition. called Kim. one day told his parents. She said that your son. She was an absolute tomboy full of vim and vigour. She said to all the children in the coach. “Mom. now all of you . She told me a strange thing.” Chorused the fifteen odd children in the coach. I have a strong relationship with them and the very fact that I love you does not mean that I do not love them!” What a revelation! Shashi and her husband were both lawyers. They shall bless you for it! Incidentally. Shashi was told by a friend. the better chance we shall have to put to good use our bodies as well as our lives. “Shashi. “Who is she? What does she do?” asked Shashi anxiously.” “Oh! What was it?” asked Shashi in surprise. Many of the senior members of our society may not be financially independent. The sooner we realize. although. last year. But. Most of us indulge in burning our energies in doing futile things that eventually have no value nor meaning. Had he known. “Mom and Dad. your parents have brought you to Singapore. it was real Sandalwood! The wood cutter realised what a fool he had been. those words that her son had said touched her heart. The son chose his words carefully. We actually burn our bodies at both ends. Many years later. for a holiday. Let us understand the value of the human body given to us by the Almighty. “Good. madly in love with her. In the normal course of growing up and pursuing their higher education. During one of our sightseeing tours. we had an elderly tourist guide. Are you having fun?” “Yes. including ours.

promise me. I mean. Nindak neare rakhiye.” Ahmed paused for a moment and then said. howsoever well qualified you may be. so how can I be? He sees through the mistakes I make. Suddenly he said in a stern. authoritative voice. you shall bring them for a holiday to Singapore!” What a beautiful thought! Our parents give us their best. I believe you lost father when you were young. to the best of our ability. he attends office everyday. everyone better know it!” Ahmed said. And for commonsense. Father And Mother I Love You! POSITIVE CRITICISM Rawatji was the eighty years old clerk in the office of Ahmed. He said. I wouldn’t allow anyone to use that tone with me. He is my worst critic and yet my best friend. You know. for he can clean up your character without the use of soap or water! If you really pause to hear what a critic has to say about you. to the best of their ability. Rawatji managed everything passionately as if it were his own. Besides. you are miscalculating the overheads. When I am the boss. Father passed away when I was only eighteen. The meeting being over. It is only when you are able to identify your faults and acknowledge them that you can do something to improve yourself. One day a client was sitting in a meeting with Ahmed. it is our duty to give them our best. but it is good old commonsense.” The learned Fakir Kabir said. he even stopped taking his salary. At this age. Yes. Fifteen years ago. keep a critic tucked away in the courtyard of your house. “Age should think and Youth should do. experience and values that are at the root of all good decisions. This amount is ridiculous. “Ahmed. that when you are all grown up and your parents are old. experience and values. “My father had started this business house with Rawatji as his clerk. you can see your picture as the other guy sees it. sabun bina.” The client raised his eye brows and said. He has an uncanny sixth sense. Rawatji listened quietly in a corner. Ahmed was the head of a reputed business organization. Take criticism in a positive light. They were tabulating the terms of the new agreement for the purchase of steel for the new plant. All they do is massage your ego! . He is my mentor. “Ahmed. his experience far outweighs ours. use it to introspect and improve yourself. He groomed me the way my father would have. Nobody’s Perfect. who else can I turn to but Rawatji? Even Baba says. “Who is that old man? Tell him to mind his own business. angan kuti chhawye! Bin pani. In turn. Nirmal kare subhaye!! This means. “He is my father!” Ahmed looked into the detail of the calculation and realized that his junior staff had indeed made a mistake. FAMILY means. Who was that old man and why did you allow him to speak to you like that? As the head of the organization. the client sat with Ahmed in an easy mood. Go over it again. in business. Steer clear of flatterers. Pobody’s Nerfect.

leaving the father surprised. THE POOR MAN A man.” The following day. look at the other side. 'Yes'. “If you are so concerned about your good looks.. Whenever we come across a challenge or a puzzling situation.” The poor man shook his head and said. “Is the child normal? Are all the limbs complete? Is the mother alright?” . She said that whenever a baby was born in the family (it was an extended family).. give me a day to think what I can do to help you to become rich. To keep her busy.” Then the priest said. I shall think of something else. “Alright.” The next day this poor man went to the priest's house again. the priest had another guest sitting by his side. He said “This man is suffering from kidney failure. or I do not wish to live. “I am very poor. “This man would happily pay you two lacs of rupees. You will be surprised to see an easy way to tackle the problem. there is a man's face on the other side of the paper. she said. I made the face perfect to get the map right." She ran outside to play. This is your greatest wealth. If you work and prove your worth to your employer. come again tomorrow. He tore it into pieces and asked her to go to her room and put them together to make the map again. But the little one came back within minutes with a perfect map. “That shall disfigure my handsome face. When he asked how she could do it so quickly. If you want.. All she asked was. "Oh. Dad.. if you would donate one of your eyes to him. went to a priest and said. Please help me to become rich. in search of good workers. “My dear. He was sure she would take the whole day to get it done.” The priest shrugged his shoulders and said. You are richer than many thousands of people who are disabled. I am totally disillusioned because I have nothing. God has given you a perfect body. The world is waiting for you. whether it was a boy or a girl. sick and suffering. I want to die. I do not wish to give him my eye. There is no dearth of jobs. You can earn this money today. who was full of self-pity. Good establishments are in fact. Make use of your limbs. he tore one page on which was printed the map of the world. The priest introduced him to a blind man and said. Come back tomorrow. My late grand-mother never asked.” The priest thought for a moment and said. old. Seek out work..THE OTHER SIDE A Father was reading a magazine and his little daughter every now and then distracted him. “No. Get up and get to work. There is always the other side to whatever you experience in this world.” This reminds me of what my mother once told me.. You do not know its value. “I don't want to go through the pain. You only have to say. you can sell one of your kidneys to him for a fair sum of rupees three lacs.” said the man. he shall surely value you. This deal shall not even hamper your good looks.

as the salesman led him to a corner where there was a delightful array of night lights. it is with the small things in life that make the path of our life comfortable and pleasant. the salesman said. Finally every thing was finalized and the order was placed. kindness. He got up and was pleasantly surprised to note that the light emitted by the tiny night bulb was enough for him to find his way to the washroom without any apprehension. He silently sent a blessing to the salesman who had reminded him to buy what he had tagged. At midnight the old man woke to answer nature's call. THE NIGHT LIGHT An old couple was building a small house for themselves. A normal healthy child is all she asked for. It was delicate and beautiful. empathy. they moved in. the lady switched on the night light.” The old man raised his eyebrows. Your family and friends are like the night light that provides light when all other lights are off! .In a society obsessed with male progeny. we should value it and put it to good use. all of us who are lucky to be blessed with normal healthy bodies are indeed wealthy. But it was expensive. Now they had discharged all their liabilities. it is valuing and appreciating the things you already have. Let's not overlook them and start valuing them. The sex of the child was very secondary. love. yet most significant and valuable. In fact the most important things in our lives are not actually 'things'. they selected a simple and inexpensive one and made their way home. lest we have to regret in retrospect for missing out on them.' So too. 'the most important light. Contentment they say. but they are the most important things in our lives. you have not taken a look at our range of 'the most important light' for your house. As the old man was about to sign the cheque for the total amount. laughter. It was made of crystal and had candle bulbs in it. is not achieving all that you dreamt of. They indulged themselves with a lovely set of bed side lamps for their bedroom. this was a great attitude. They then proceeded with the porch lights and the garden lights. Well. sacrifice etc. They cost precious little. “Sir. One bright sunny day they set out to buy light fittings for their dream house. The salesman showed them a lovely chandelier for the drawing room. so they decided to build a small cottage for themselves. Soon they slept. They are family. All their lives they had spent on their children's upbringing. When the house was ready. They are insignificant and inexpensive. So. They selected some simple fittings for the kitchen and the bathrooms. As they were about to settle down into their cosy bed for the night. We just need to understand that this is the greatest wealth that God could bestow upon us and so. After much contemplation they decided to buy it.

One day. they spent most of their time in meditation. Accordingly. All of us here wake up at the break of day. They slept on jute mats on the floor. During the night the king became sick. One evening as dusk fell. we want to eat all the rich food that is loaded with calories that we don't know how to burn! MY WATER There was a small hermitage in the mountains. Some young sadhus lived there. En route they stopped at many temples. Please ask the King to relieve me of my services. Where is there room for any illness to creep in?” What a profound statement! Living close to nature. They filled a bucket each and set them near the hermitage. “Oh sage! I really don't think that I am needed here. We work hard from dawn to dusk. I am fed up of sitting idle all the time. “Let me tell you the mantra of our good health. They stopped over for the night. he saw from close quarters. They brought water from the nearby stream to cook. her beak was in the water. One day the Vaidya got fed up of his idleness and said. He along with a number of ministers and courtiers was on a pilgrimage. The sage's people brought a Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) to attend to the King. It was a very cold day. They had left behind their families to meditate and free themselves from worldly attachments. This place has fresh air and sunlight. During his stay at the ashram. The king recovered in a couple of days. Some days passed like this. eating simple food and working hard are the three legs of the tripod of good health. “Hush! Hush!” he cried out. They then went to collect fire wood. “Tell me. the hard life style of the residents of the ashram. the king's party looked around for a place to spend the night. He said that he would provide for a monthly sum to be paid as salary to the Vaidya. The air was cool and clean. One of the Sadhus ran forward to scare it away. wash and clean the hermitage. We eat frugally because we eat to live. but when it comes to eating. so they thought that they would heat some water for bathing. To express his gratitude. Months passed. The tiny bird flew away.GOOD HEALTH There was a king called Sheelbhadra. After collecting some dried wood. he asked the sage to keep the Vaidya there on a permanent basis. Our rooms are cooled by the breeze of trees we have planted all around. . They lived simply. We use gadgets to execute all the menial jobs around us. They bathed in the stream. the Vaidya was put up in the Ashram. The king offered his prayers at each of the temples. A little sparrow was sitting on the edge of one of the buckets. The Vaidya had to sit idle all the time because no body seemed to fall sick there. pakoras and rasmalais. In today's world we want to satisfy our taste buds with pizzas and burgers. They ate mostly wild fruits and berries. Oh Holy one! How is it that nobody falls sick here? Is it because you have a tantra-mantra of protection over them?” The sage laughed and said. pastries and cheese puffs. not live to eat. they got back. two of the Sadhus went to the stream to fetch water. Most importantly. They found the hermitage of a sage.” The sage smiled. The Vaidya went on.

being more able bodied. A young man. how much water could the sparrow possibly have drunk. Gopa sprang up to the stage and caught the Preacher by the neck and said. "Kill me if you must." That was the last straw. Does your mother sleep with her doors and windows closed?" Gopa looked at him angrily and said. had the water become impure due to the sparrow's touch? It was drawn from the stream. The other sage said.” The argument went on." The Preacher asked the youngster to sit down and meet him later after the session was over.” “Why should I leave it." shouted Gopa. isn't it?" "Yes. "She sleeps with her doors and windows tightly shut. Neither the quantity nor the purity of the bathing water had been affected GOD HEARD YOU A Preacher was delivering a discourse to a large gathering on the importance of reciting prayers in the praise of the Lord.” “I put mine. "Of course she does! But how does that concern you? The Preacher repeated. That one is yours. "Well. the Preacher raised his voice and said. Hold your tongue or I'll kill you." Then Panditji said. "Panditji. was able to physically lift the other one and throw him further. the water was going to be used for just bathing. The fellow continued to interrupt and disturb the session. but let me ask you something first. Why don't you just wind up your talk now? Enough is enough. “Wait a minute that was my bucket. "What an insolent brat you are! Didn't your mother ever teach you any manners? Sit down quietly or I'll beat the daylights out of you. till they caught hold of each other's neck." he shrieked. on this side. that one is mine. "Keep my mother out of this. The sadhu landed with a thud and his foot hit the same bucket over which they had been fighting. that the quantity of water was reduced? Secondly. Leave my bucket alone. All wild birds and animals would be drinking from it all the time! Thirdly. called Gopa.” “Of course not. if you are sure that my words of abuse could penetrate through closed doors and windows. listens to our prayers? These are all a means of earning for you Brahmins. it is mine. got up and said rudely. the first Sadhu reached out to pick up the bucket that had not been touched by the sparrow.When they reached the buckets. They had a scuffle and one of the sadhus. what proof do you have that this so called God of yours. All the water spilled out! Let us look at this objectively Firstly. When he did it for the fifth time. Who knows what reaches God? You are just wasting our time. "Then do you think she would have heard my abuses?" "Of course she would have and I'm going to kill you for that. to reach your mother. she does. then how is it that my words of prayer would not reach the Lord who is omnipresent?" .

Gopa's jaw dropped. I'm sorry. someone told me a more interesting version of this story. Working to your strengths will not only get you noticed. The tortoise agreed. you utter no words. got into the river. by this time. continued walking and finished the race. and the other fast and still reliable at what he does. The tortoise did some thinking this time. make sure you create opportunities to give presentations that enable the senior management to notice you. The hare agreed. In an organization. He was at a loss for words. But then recently. Not only that. "My friend. make sure you do some sort of research. He thought for a while. The story still hasn't ended. you pray within your heart. and realized that there's no way he can beat the hare in a race the way it was currently formatted. In the meantime the tortoise trundled along. if you are a good speaker. He released the Preacher from his hold. He realized that he'd lost the race only because he had been overconfident. It continues: The hare was disappointed at losing the race and he did some soul-searching. This time. On . the hare took off and ran at top speed until he came to a broad river. The Preacher got up and put his hands on Gopa's shoulders. The hare and the tortoise. the tortoise took over and swam across with the hare on his back. I used those words. But that was the only way I could have made you understand. but it's better to be fast and reliable. But the story doesn't end here. and this time the hare carried the tortoise till the riverbank. but He hears you no matter what! HARE AND TORTOISE (OLD STORY RETOLD) The moral of the old story of the hare and the tortoise is that slow and steady wins the race. They started off. The moral of the story is fast and consistent will always beat the slow and steady. and then challenged the hare to another race. the fast and reliable chap will consistently climb the organizational ladder faster than the slow. the hare went all out and ran without stopping from start to finish. The hare sat there wondering what to do. swam to the opposite bank. had become pretty good friends and they did some thinking together. There. but on a slightly different route. That is the version of the story that we've all grown up with. make a report and send it upstairs. They started off. It's good to be slow and steady. Both realized that the last race could have been run much better. So they decided to do the last race again. but will also create opportunities for growth and advancement. Be sure that God listens to every word that you utter in His praise. but to run as a team this time. So he challenged the tortoise to another race. He also listens to every word that you utter for anything and to anyone. methodical chap. methodical and reliable. The finishing line was a couple of kilometers on the other side of the river. one slow. He won. He even reads your thoughts!" Many a times when you stand in front of the deity in a temple. If you have two people in your organization. If your strength is analysis. careless and lax. The moral of the story? First identify your core competency and then change the playing field to suit your core competency. In keeping with his self-made commitment to be consistently fast.

sometimes it is appropriate to work harder and put in more effort. "Mrs. Thank you for your part in filling my Memory bank. And sometimes it is appropriate to do both. you'll always perform below par because there will always be situations at which you'll do poorly and someone else does well. Her husband of 70 years recently passed away. The hare decided to work harder and put in more effort after his failure. letting the person with the relevant core competency for a situation take leadership”. As she maneuvered her walker to the elevator.It's a decision I make every morning when I wake up. I provided a visual description of her tiny room." "That doesn't have anything to do with it. . After many hours of waiting patiently in the lobby of the nursing home.” Old age is like a bank account. we perform far better. petite. when faced with failure. the hare again carried the tortoise and they reached the finishing line together. who is fully dressed each morning by eight o'clock. The tortoise changed his strategy because he was already working as hard as he could. Note that neither the hare nor the tortoise gave up after failures. she smiled sweetly when told her room was ready. The hare and the tortoise also learnt another vital lesson. They both felt a greater sense of satisfaction than they'd felt earlier. well-poised and proud lady. moved to a nursing home today. When we stop competing against a rival and instead start competing against the situation. “I love it. you withdraw from what you've put in. I am still depositing. “It's good to be individually brilliant and to have strong core competencies. Each day is a gift." she stated with the enthusiasm of an eight-year-old having just been presented with a new puppy.just for this time in my life.. So." she replied. Sometimes it is appropriate to change strategy and try something different. I can spend the day in bed recounting the difficulty I have with the parts of my body that no longer work. Jones. There are more lessons to be learnt from this story. with her hair fashionably coifed and makeup perfectly applied. but unless you're able to work in a team and harness each other's core competencies. "Happiness is something you decide on ahead of time. Teamwork is mainly about situational leadership. and as long as my eyes open I'll focus on the new day and all the happy memories I've stored away . even though she is legally blind.. you haven't seen the room just wait. I have a choice. Whether I like my room or not doesn't depend on how the furniture is arranged. ATTITUDE The 92-year-old. In life. “I already decided to love it . making the move necessary. my advice to you would be to deposit a lot of happiness in the bank account of memories. including the eyelet sheets that had been hung on her window. it's how I arrange my mind.the opposite bank. or get out of bed and be thankful for the ones that do. The moral of the story.

" It was an elder. Dad would look at me hopefully. knowledge and all the others. Knowledge answered. "I'm sorry. as we drove to the bank. She began looking for someone to ask for help. Each and every time. Knowledge smiled and with deep wisdom and sincerity and answered. Dad would empty his pockets and toss his coins into the jar. "But why did Time help me when no one else would?". Love saw Sadness passing. So all the feelings prepared their boats to leave. When he got ready for bed." Next. Love realized how much she owed the elder. "Love. "You are all wet and will damage my beautiful boat. Love said.LOVE Once upon a time there was an island where all the feelings lived. You're going to do better than me. love decided it was time to leave. but there is a lot of silver and gold on my boat and there would be no room for you anywhere. Love was the only one that stayed. Love then found Knowledge and asked thename of the saviour "It was Time"." Then. Love asked. Love asked. "Vanity. Happiness. son." Sadness answered. "Those coins are going to keep you out of the textile mill." But Happiness was so over overjoyed that he didn't hear Love calling to him." PICKLE JAR The pickle jar as far back as I can remember sat on the floor beside the dresser in my parents' bedroom. "Because only Time is capable of understanding how great Love is. I'm sorry but I just need to be alone now. Then she heard a voice say. please let me go with you. including love. When the island was almost totally under." Then Love decided to ask Vanity for help who was passing in a beautiful vessel. "Sadness. I will take you with me. Taking the coins to the bank was always a big production. Vanity said. Then the tones gradually muted to a dull thud as the jar was filled. I used to squat on the floor in front of the jar and admire the copper and silver circles that glinted like a pirate's treasure when the sun poured through the bedroom window." "I can't help you". Love cried out. Love began to cry. "Come Love." . Just then Richness was passing by in a grand boat. please take me with you. When they arrived on land the elder went on his way. Can I come with you on your boat?" Richness answered. One day it was announced to all of the feelings that the island was going to sink to the bottom of the ocean. When the jar was filled. Dad would sit at the kitchen table and roll the coins before taking them to the bank. Stacked neatly in a small cardboard box. "Happiness. sadness. She wanted to preserve the island paradise until the last possible moment. "Richness. the coins were placed between Dad and me on the seat of his old truck. help me please. As a small boy I was always fascinated at the sounds the coins made as they were dropped into the jar. They landed with a merry jingle when the jar was almost empty. Love saw Happiness and cried out. This old town's mill not going to hold you back. Love felt so blessed and overjoyed that she forgot to ask the elder his name.

don't fall!" And Tammy did fall. nickels. it defined. the bottom already covered with coins. My little eight-year-old brain didn't realize the tree could break or I could get hurt. Tammy. "You'll get to college on pennies. I scampered down the tree to safety." So I did. I could hear the leaves start to rattle and the tree begin to sway. I was always climbing trees. as he slid the box of rolled coins across the counter at the bank toward the cashier. In my mind. happy jingle. stood the old pickle jar. her eyes directing me to a spot on the floor beside the dresser. he would grin proudly. When the clerk at the ice cream parlor handed Dad his change. In fact. After dinner Susan noticed something and beckoned me to join her. The next thing I know. it came to no surprise for my dad to find me at the top of a 30-foot tree swinging back and forth. I always got chocolate. I heard Tammy screaming at the top of her lungs. POWER OF POSITIVE WORDS As a kid. I walked over to the pickle jar. he would show me the few coins nestled in his palm. "Bart. "When we get home. Tammy's mother also noticed us at the exact time my dad did. "Tammy. about ten feet below me. my ." He always let me drop the first coins into the empty jar. then try to tell the brain not to do what it just imagined." We would always celebrate each deposit by stopping for an ice cream cone. Mom and Dad sat next to each other on the sofa. people who rely on internal pictures cannot see a negative at all. "But you'll get there. how much my dad had loved me. we spent the holiday with my parents. After dinner. "These are for my son's college fund. was also in the same tree. she yelled out. Dad always got vanilla. when Tammy's mother felt the gust of wind. dimes and quarters. more than anything else. To my amazement. In order for Tammy to process the command of not falling. With a gamut of emotions choking me." he said. I just thought it was fun to be up so high. I'll see to that. Hold on tightly. I told my wife Susan about the significant part the lowly pickle jar had played in my life as a boy. we grinned at each other. and I finished college and took a job in another town. "Look. her nine-year-old brain had to first imagine falling. Whereas. and pulled out a fistful of coins. My dad later told me why she fell and I did not. She was hanging on the first big limb.Also. as if it had never been removed. and literally hanging around upside down from the rafters of our lake house. each and every time. When I married. My dad then explained to me that the mind has a very difficult time processing a negative image. She had fallen out of the tree. So. I remember my dad's voice over the wind yell. Apparently. taking turns cuddling their first grandchild. He'll never work at the mill all his life like me. dug down into my pocket. laying flat on the ground. "The first Christmas after our daughter Jessica was born. we'll start filling the jar again." The years passed. As they rattled around with a brief. About that time a huge gust of wind came over the tree. I dropped the coins into the jar. poles." she said softly. My older cousin.

If: Presupposes that you may not. Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them. Please spread the positivity! . Try: Presupposes failure." Likely result: Watches more television. Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. Examples: Toxic phrase: "Don' t drop the ball!" Likely result: Drops the ball Better language: "Catch the ball!" Toxic phrase: "You shouldn't ' t watch so much television.eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. Might: It does nothing definite. It leaves options for your listener Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen.) Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen. Usage of negative words has a toxic effect. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error. But: Negates any words that are stated before it. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words. Can't/Don't: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. Notice when you or other people use them. You might find yourself turning that TV off and picking up one of those books more often!" Exercise: Take a moment to write down all the phrases you use on a daily basis or any Toxic self-talk that you have noticed yourself using.

after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over.' And I did. 'Not yet'. you would have crumbled. "Don't do that. They both liked antiques and pottery. "Not yet!" Then WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around.' he said. you will not be able to have tea in a tea cup again without thinking of this. I have not always been a teacup. But the master only nodded and said. I never felt such heat. but had I just left you alone. I was ready to give up. I cried. this is much better. You would not have had any color in your life." "I don't like it!" "Let me alone. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf. He only shook his head and said." I thought. Stop'. then. and I began to cool. "Help! Get me out of here!" I could see him through the opening and I could read his lips as he shook his head from side to side. and gently said. I cried. wondering "What's he going to do to me next?" An hour later he handed me a mirror and said 'Look at yourself. but if I hadn't done that. But. and especially teacups. I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over. they asked "May we see that? We've never seen a cup quite so beautiful. but if I had stopped. I was convinced I would never make it. I'm beautiful!!!' Quietly he spoke: 'I want you to remember. you'd have dried up. "You don't understand. Spotting an exceptional cup.' He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then he put me in the oven. quietly. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel. . 'I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted. suddenly the teacup spoke. Only it was not like the first one. the door opened. ‘Oh. I screamed. Stop it. Oh. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf. where I cooled and waited and waited. that couldn't be me. pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. ‘That's not me. you never would have hardened. please. When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute. but if I hadn't put you there. My master took me and rolled me. "Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!" I screamed. There was a time when I was just a lump of red clay.THE TEA CUP Love this story or not. 'Not yet!' Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. I begged. The fumes were horrible. I said. I pleaded. that felt so good! "Ah." As the lady handed it to them. It's beautiful. you would have cracked. There was a couple who took a trip to England to shop in a beautiful antique store to celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary. 'Not yet. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven. I thought I would gag." but he only smiled.

A large number of youngsters are into drinking. In the evening. I have no control over my anger. and we are His clay. Alex was in the habit of giving her an account with inflated figures. He decided to try out the advice of the preacher. food. she was asking for the week's account. After the service was over. “I went to the Church. all your vices shall automatically leave you. stationery. a church. he was out with his friends. Mom never suspected anything. Others sniggered and looked amused. sit down and reflect on this story and then. get angry. Later in the day. Now you are a finished product. “Oh! I went to” How could he tell them that he had gone to Church? They would laugh at him! But he had made a promise. But from today. GIVE UP ONE VICE The younger generation of today has by and large. Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest tea cup. “Alex. One by one. So when life seems hard. Please help me God!” Alex made a beginning. not to lie. He happened to be very disturbed that day. his mother asked him how much he had spent that week. when life seems to "stink". The preacher delivered a sermon on how the vices bring about our downfall. and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance. But if you can bring yourself to give up just one of your vices. etc.” he said demurely.” he said firmly. have a little talk with the 'Potter'.” Alex opened his mouth. She usually asked for an account of his weekly expenses over petrol. cheat and even kill for the thrill! Going to a temple. He said.' The moral of this story is this: God knows what He's doing for each of us. when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials. smoking. a deficiency of values. one Sunday. Alex looked the other way and managed to swallow his pride. They asked him. He is the potter. Every week he would hike up the account a little so that he could buy himself some alcohol and a couple of cigarettes. you can make a start towards a good life. What . try this. He will mould us and make us and expose us to just enough pressures of just the right kinds that we may be made into a flawless piece of work to fulfill His good. when your world seems to be spinning out of control. he went to the confession box and said softly. When are you going to stop bothering about what the world thinks and start bothering about what GOD thinks about you?” Alex heard the sermon. I shall stop telling lies. I am addicted to alcohol and cigarettes and doubt if I can give them up. “I have many vices. Now. The prevalent life style encourages youngsters to throw tantrums. it is very difficult to correct yourself. a gurudwara or a mosque is sacrilegious! One such young boy called Alex went to the church. where were you this morning? All of us went to the Café. “The what?” they chorused. “Children. Some of them guffawed. drugs etc. you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. “The Church. tell lies to parents. pleasing and perfect will.If I hadn't put you back in that second oven. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you. I promise to give up one of them. You'll be glad you did. have pre-marital sex. go to nightclubs.

“Alright make a wick out of this cotton wool. I didn't know that all it took was giving up just one vice.” MEDITATION There was a hermit who lived in the forest a little away from a village. He said. As a result. “Tatia. When the group was about to disperse.” Tatia struck the match. a much happier Alex stood outside the confession box again. he gave her the correct amount.” he would say. Good. Tatia was a mischievous teenager who had endeared himself to the hermit by his naughty yet loving ways. Now pour in the oil. you've been very thrifty this week. He also opened his eyes to make a note of the facial expressions of all those in the meditation class and giggled at their serious faces. The boy would dance around the hermit and sing village songs for him. Twist it well between your fingers and make it tight.” Tatia followed instructions. The wind was . the hermit asked Tatia to come alone the next day. The hermit said. So the following week.e. He would want to giggle or scratch his nose just when he had been told to sit still. I just had to show the way out to the first one. the hermit was waiting under the Banyan tree for Tatia. if they wished to learn meditation. The villagers would ask him to teach them meditation.” said the boy somewhat meekly.should he do? How should he give her the wrong figures? He was under oath not to lie. for making me a different person. He was sure the hermit would punish him for his antics yesterday. he was not getting cranky and had no cause for throwing tantrums. The rest of them just walked out of the doorway. do you really want to learn meditation?” “Yes. He tried again with the other matchstick. Now put it into this little brass lamp and spread out its cotton base well. That's wonderful son!” She gave him the amount he had spent and a hug too! That unnerved him! Now. but the boy would keep on fidgeting. There was a lamp lying next to him along with some cotton. She raised her eyebrows. He would tell them that the mind needs to learn to concentrate. The next day. He told them that it was one of the simplest ways to meditate. he had no money to buy himself a single alcoholic drink. The villagers would some times visit him and he would tell them about the purpose and value of human birth. No money for cigarettes too! He found that he was sleeping better. the rest of them followed suit. he noticed the bald patch on the head of the man sitting in front of him. the hermit told the villagers about Jyoti meditation i. For the first time. “I have come to thank you. meditation on light. but the wind blew it out before he could so much as touch the matchstick to the wick. Tatia tried too. oil and a matchbox. “Now light the lamp with a matchstick. The hermit would ask him to sit still and repeat the Gayatri Mantra after him. Tatia was busy looking at the ant that was climbing on to the sleeve of his father. That's right. During one meditation session. The hermit saw it all. He had a small hut made from mud with a thatched roof. but he would insist that they would have to spend more time with him than just a couple of minutes. there was no extra money with him. One day. “Alex. “We should concentrate on the Lord's design of sending us on this earth and try to learn to concentrate on the eternal truths of life and death. but his mind would travel at a thousand miles per hour. Two months later. Some of the villagers learnt how to do it too. It was a little windy. that is the first step towards God realization.

to withdraw from worldly thoughts before it can experience the light of God. this stone throwing. “What if we want to stop the ripples? The root cause of the ripples is the stone. It has to be sheltered from the cobweb of thoughts and desires. Again and again Tatia lit the match. rolled a strip of cloth over one end and dipped it in oil." The man continued. the lamp went out. he managed to bring the match to the wick. “Now Tatia. it's impossible to light the lamp in the wind. “Does that mean that I can never take this lamp outside?” The hermit picked up a log. Strangely the wind became stronger. Go ahead and look for it. but if he exposes his knowledge to the world before it is strong enough. "Look at the water.faster than him again. “Likewise. "they spread further and further. Perhaps we can do it together. "Yeah. . the water is still again. A young boy happened to cross by. When the fire was burning strongly the hermit said. The hermit smiled knowingly and said. but the number of ripples that were made in the process were a lot more than before.” The boy said. "Only till I toss a pebble into it now do you see the ripples?" "Yeah. jealousies. "Sure. the mind too has to be taken away from the hustle and bustle and the noises of life." The man tossed a pebble into the water and continued.” So they went inside the hut. The mind has to go to a quiet place. it is. if we take this flame to the woods and the wind catches the flame." said the boy. if we go out again the wind shall blow it out. idiosyncrasies. the man would toss a pebble into the lake.” The hermit cupped his palms on either side of the match stick and the boy was able to light the wick. Tatia was able to light the lamp with the first matchstick he had struck." offered the man. But he only succeeded in making more ripples. He proceeded to set fire to that end of the log by holding it over the little brass lamp. it shall be erased by the tensions. the man said softly. He tried a third time. it becomes quiet. He was able to take the stone out. eh?" "Hmmm. but each time it went out before he could light the lamp." "And soon.” The boy put his hand into the water and tried to take the stone out. Some time later. “I'll try and shelter the match as you light it. “Let's go into the hut. but it went out again. The boy said. Lets take the stone out. But as soon as the hermit moved his hands away. He was intrigued to see that after every few minutes or so. He seemed to be deep in thought and obviously did not wish to be disturbed. The boy went up to the man and said. it shall be strong enough to set the whole jungle ablaze!” THE RIPPLES A man was sitting by a lake. The hermit smiled and said. Similarly a person may learn something about God. “Can we go out now?” The hermit shook his head and said. Tatia looked confused and nervous." The boy said. There were only a couple of match sticks left in the box. Tatia said.” said the man. "Good pastime. whims and fancies. “The flame is too gentle and weak. He was throwing small pebbles into it from time to time. almost as if it was determined to defy. after a while. The hermit said. desires etc of the world. it is absolutely still.

relatives and neighbours started seeking his help and advice on various issues for he seemed to be wiser than his contemporaries. tensions. Understandably. The only way to save the mind from getting disturbed is to block and ban the entry of every superfluous thought that could be a potential cause for disturbance. He stayed at the hospital for a month. no nonvegetarian food. a friend gave him a book to read. he started feeling better and better. about the purpose of life. no smoking.The wise man said. If a thought enters into it. He was sent home with a long list of do's and don'ts. one by one the restrictions started slipping. A friend gave me a book. Slowly. the ripples can be avoided altogether! So too. medicines. it creates ripples. THE LAST DAY OF MY LIFE At the age of thirty. it will take its own time to die down. He came home. diet restrictions etc. Trivedi followed everything religiously. She asked. revealing the crow's feet at the corners of his twinkling eyes. For a couple of months. Slowly and surely he regained his health. goodness and value. if he were to die? He followed the directions of the doctors. No drinking. it is with our minds. Rich food. a completely changed man. “Grandpa. he suffered another stroke. If a disturbance has entered into the mind. “My dearest baby. While he was convalescing. It had a poem in it. he sat with his grand daughter one evening. Trivedi suffered a heart attack. helpful and loving. Any kindness . “It is not possible to stop the movement of the water once a pebble has been thrown into it. smoking etc. friends. What would happen to them. At the age of seventy four. The doctors had told him in no uncertain terms that if he did not behave himself he could start counting his days. no tensions. If therefore there be. I expect to pass Through life but once. Time surely is a great healer. This is what it said. long hours at work. He looked at his beautiful wife and two little daughters. But if we can stop ourselves from throwing the pebble in the first place. regular walks etc. His attitude was always positive. put it through the triple filter test of authenticity. As time went by. life style changes. I had a close brush with death when I was thirty four.” Before you allow a thought or a piece of information to enter your mind. Too many conflicting thoughts just cause more and more disturbances. but prevention is always better than cure. Four years later. Even trying to forcibly remove the thought may further increase the turmoil in the mind. Once the disturbance has been caused it takes time to ebb out. That started a series of thoughts. how are you so good? How do you manage to love so many people?” The old man smiled. Most important of all he developed an attitude of love towards all. He fostered love on who ever came his way. It was then that I learnt how life should be lived. all played havoc with his health.

He proposed an expenditure of a large amount to put this system into place. Then he said. For I shall not pass This way again. for my impertinence. That being settled. The process of handling each one separately for this purpose seemed to be very cumbersome. having no bar of soap in them! There was no way to make out the difference between a full wrapper and an empty one. it so happened that inevitably. So. He had obviously learnt and lived it over and over. After a detailed investigation. How had this happened? How could they ensure that the incident did not occur again? They had suffered enough bad publicity besides having to pay the compensation to the lady. the worker brought a strong industrial fan. When she opened one of the packets. There was no soap in there. I live each day as if it were my last. that during the process of wrapping. Or any good things I can do to any fellow being. For I shall not pass This way again. He recited the poem boisterously without faltering. she found that it was empty. The management heard him out and passed the order to release the funds and to buy the machinery that he had proposed. I live each moment as if it were my last.” The management hesitated initially. “Excuse me Sir. So I try to do only that. there was a task before the management of the soap factory. I thank God. for the empty packs would not get detected by a normal x-ray machine. “My precious child. for being alive. He put it at an .” THE SOAP BOXES A lady bought some bathing soaps from a shop. The man prepared a detailed report and proposed the setting up of a computer based system that would weigh and scan each bar. one or two wrappers did get through. An uneducated worker said. the technical head was given the job of devising a method to overcome the problem. But eventually they heard him out and agreed to try out his proposal. Let me do it now. what I would do on the last day of my life.I can show. it was discovered. it was just an empty wrapper! She lodged a complaint against the manufacturer and got her claim. The next day. but I have a solution that shall cost a fraction of what you are planning to go in for. Each morning when I wake up.

He said.angle near the conveyor belt on which the packed soap bars were coming through and switched it on. Oh King! Realize the power of love. Hundreds of birds of different kinds were eating and the sound of their twittering filled the air.” The next morning the King came to the hermitage dressed in his royal finery. “Pranam. The King was crossing through a jungle. These birds would have killed you.” That made the king even more furious. You are the one who knows not that this power is temporary. The love of power shall bring about your downfall. I rule over them like a king too. hundreds of birds flew up and attacked the king. The sage did not look up. Guruji!” No answer. The sage said. no answer. The love of power has blinded you and brought you to the level of a killer. I said Pranam!” he said in an angry voice. . his eyes and his arms and all over. He had captured the crown prince of the neighbouring kingdom and killed the King. You are the one who kills for the love of power. The sage said calmly. but that's because they love me. A simple solution. He sent his Minister and some soldiers to seek an audience. One day another King shall kill you in the same way. But the birds wouldn't leave him. The King walked up to the sage. for a complex problem! This goes to prove that ideas are not the monopoly of the educated. “Stop shouting. The king decided to pay his respects to the sage there. The sage looked up and said. “Guruji. The king said. I do. “Guruji has retired for the day. He wanted to rest. you are scaring the birds. “Leave him! Leave him! Come to me my dears!” All at once. you can come tomorrow. “Do you know who I am?” he shouted. Nearby was a hermitage. The few empty wrappers that came through got blown off by the fan! The rest of them went past easily. “Your impertinence is intolerable. “All I ever gave these birds is love. He spoke louder. The sage said. The king moved his arms up and around to ward off the birds.” The king was beside himself with rage. the birds quietened down and sat meekly at the feet of the sage. Guruji!” Still. The sage was sitting under a tree and scattering bajra seeds all around. In an instant. “Yes. The army halted there for the evening. Common sense is seldom common! THE POWER OF LOVE A mighty King was marching home after being victorious in a gruesome battle. They poked their beaks into his face. They told the disciples there. accompanied by his ministers and attendants. I shall behead you just now!” He drew out his sword and raised it to strike the sage. “Maharaj wants to meet the sage.” The disciples said. “Pranam.

“Shall I help you to take that shirt off. He cleaned it up. The old lady said. “That's the best I can do.” The son saw the other soldier and said. The young man sipped the tea. In an instant he saw the new entrant and realized that he was at the mercy of the enemy. Against his wishes. He had lost a lot of blood. Should he ask the old woman? If it was enemy territory.” she said simply.but the only power I ever exercise over them is the power of love and it is greatest power on this Earth. My son too is in the army. applied some ointment and bandaged it. hesitations or semblance of fear she let the young fellow in. He said brusquely. Sleep now!” . enemy or not. I'll do whatever I can to help you. In the morning. you are under my care. a wounded soldier. looking around uneasily. but not succeeding.” But he knew that he needed help and soon. Sit down by the log fire and make yourself warm. if he was in his own territory. Without any questions. An hour later there was another knock at the door.” The young soldier winced and said. You're not going anywhere. “Mama!” he called. making an attempt to get up. “This is my son. let it be. knocked at a lonesome cottage in the sinister darkness. you have to help him. The heated exchange of words woke up the soldier. An old woman opened the door. Each night the soldiers would return to their barracks. she would surely find a way to kill him! Poison him perhaps! He was totally helpless. “Eat. It's been so many days. Others were dead and never did return. but what you scatter that tells what kind of life you have lived! KILL THE ENEMY Two countries were at war for the last so many days. “I have a bullet in my arm. “Sssh! He's just slept. I'm so happy to have you home. Be careful. The woman said. but he is not here. maybe I could look at the wound. “Mama! Who is that?” She replied.” She said. he's wounded badly. But right now.” The boy said tersely. He wasn't even sure.” said the soldier. some wounded. Many soldiers had died in both the armies. the son. Another young soldier walked in. The old woman said firmly. I am all alone here. “Nothing you can do.” The mother said. Look son. One such night. upon his mother's insistence.” The old woman motioned to her son and together they unbuttoned the stranger's torn shirt. She brought him some hot tea and a few slices of bread.” It's not what you gather. The border areas were scenes of death and destruction.” “I'll be on my way now. I need help. some disillusioned and some vengeful. “No way. “Look son. You need to see a doctor. “But. “He's the enemy Mama! You put us all into danger by letting him in. “Oh! It's you my son. dug out the bullet amidst a continuous flow of blood. I'm sure together we can do something for you. lest you wake him up.” The boy spoke some angry words but she stuck to her stand. you may go if you wish to.

In the morning after eating a wholesome breakfast of hot porridge. Papa. And that weapon was LOVE. “Papa didn’t you tell me that when Temptation comes calling. He was back in a minute. “Temptation. He was waiting eagerly for father to complete his work for he was hoping that he would be able to ask for the favour of playing a game of Pinball on the laptop. Mummy told me that they are just not good for my teeth. They are sent by people who wish to tempt us to buy stuff that is not really good for us. Sirish noticed that for a large number of mails. I hope you will too. “Temptation? What do you mean by that?” The little boy smiled and said. just send it right back. Only a few of them. “How can I ever thank you?” She replied. I promise to try my best. the door bell rang and father said. “There was a lady selling chocolates at a discount. the chances are you may get lured into buying it and it’s always easier to stay away from temptation than to get out of it!” The boy was reasonably satisfied and got busy with eating the apple slices that Mummy had just handed to him. A short while later. so I sent her away!” He continued. he couldn’t contain himself and asked. As father opened one e-mail. Sirish watched curiously as father pressed the ‘delete’ key over and over again. my child is something that tries to incite you into doing something or buying stuff that we don’t really need. TEMPTATION Father was working on his laptop. The ‘enemy' is also made of flesh and blood like us and some of them have hearts of gold. the soldier said to the old woman. “Temptation? What do you mean by that?” Father sat the innocent little boy in his lap and said.” The soldier left. what are you deleting?” Father smiled mysteriously and answered. “By Killing the enmity.” said Sirish as he rose to open the door. Father asked “Who’s it. For some of them he did not even open the attachments clipped on. not the enemy. don’t reason out. “Sirish would you get that.” The soldier was unnerved. but instantaneously changed the hand-shake into an embrace. “Papa. He didn't know what to say. to tell us that it's the enmity that has to be killed. father read through and typed replies to. If you study the whole write up. “We all need someone like your mother. “Temptation!” Sirish asked. He just deleted them. That’s just what I did!” .” he extended his hand towards the son.' He knew that only one weapon was needed to kill all enmities. “It’s okay Papa. It was a holiday. after the other. These mails are called spam mails. it was just Temptation. Finally he said. Finally. I’m caught up. His little son Sirish was watching him. but that night he understood the meaning of the term ‘brotherhood of man. The soldier said.” “Yes. not the enemy. but he had lots of mails to clear so he had brought his laptop home. son?” Sirish said. father pressed the ‘delete’ key as soon as the e-mail was displayed on his screen.” It was Father’s turn to ask. “I'll try my best. You see it’s better to delete it as soon as it comes up.

Moreover. including the king and the first artist were intrigued. showed up in it! That is what it means to polish your self. But the king loved surprises and he decided to give the young fellow a chance. He encouraged artists from all over his country and gave them valuable gifts. my wall is ready too!” The king went to see the first artist’s wall. I promise you shall not be disappointed. oil. The first artist brought in a regular supply of paint. without looking at his work.” Now. Then he said. So he said. I shall do so.Setting an example is not just one of the ways of teaching your children.” Now. Whatever you . But this man had not been seeing what was going on. The king sent for the second artist and asked him. It will be more beautiful than anything you have ever seen before. I would even request you to have a thick curtain put up between the two walls so that either of us can not see the other. “Alright you may work on one of the walls in the new hall. Everyone in the king’s court. “Young man. “My Lord. water etc.” The king said. But you must tell me. One day an artist came and said to the king. For when we polish our hearts and souls we see God’s reflection within. I am indeed very happy with your work. that was a tall statement. So how had he done it? The king wanted to know the secret. Lo and behold! The same painting was to be seen on the opposite wall too! Amazing! But true! Each line. The reflection of the painting across the room.” So the artist was given the job and he was very pleased indeed. “Oh King! Give me a blank wall in your palace and let me paint a picture on it. very impressed with the painting and gave a hefty sum as a reward to the artist. He gave a double reward to the fellow. on the other side of the curtain. It’s the only way! THE PAINTING ON THE WALL There was a king who was a great admirer of art. the king happened to be constructing a big hall at the rear end of the palace. It is said that the world is a reflection of you. I shall make exactly what that man will make on the opposite wall. After a month the first artist told the king that his work was complete and he would like to show it to the king. He was very. “What would you like to make?” The man said. how did you do it?” The lad said simply.” The man said. when would your work be ready? I am coming to see the first wall this evening. Just then. “Oh King! Please allow me to work on the opposite wall. “It’s very easy! I just polished the wall every day!” It was a wall made of white marble! The fellow polished it till it shone like a mirror. “My Lord. I too am an artist. another young man said. each minor detail was exactly as it was on the first wall. The second one would some with a cloth and a bucket of water every day. He then asked for the curtain to be opened up. “Young man. The following day a thick curtain was put into place and both the artists got to work.

Her cousin Rajat who was twenty years old. Then why do people fight? . "Sure. "Sir." She looked at it curiously. If you are sad. When I get new toys my heart jumps. a part of my heart cried and died. 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 All of us have biiiig hearts. angry. that is what the world will seem to be to you THE BEAUTIFUL HEART Arushi was only seven years old. restless . to speak for another minute. Then he said. If you are happy. what is this?" He said." "May I help you?" asked Arushi. My heart is When Raju break my dolly. jealous. so she called him Doctor Bhayia (brother). I am writing an article on the heart for my presentation. hiding his smile and said. he read out his article that was a very good piece on the functioning of the heart. Rajat looked at her. On the day of the presentation. My heart does dhak-dhak all the It is in circolatury system and pumps all the blood. as if trying to understand everything! He caught her little hand to place over his heart and said. but all the same he nodded his head in assent. Mama says God lives in all hearts. My heart is soooo big." The Professor in-charge was baffled. "This is a picture of the human heart. My heart loves all parts of my body. you write something for me and I'll put it into my work. My heart is cracked and breaked when people say a bad things to it. One day she went to his room and found him studying a big book. Off you go now. "Doctor Bhayia. Only God knows how to make new hearts so we should try not to break them. the world will seem to be that too. She climbed onto his lap and asked. She wrote her article and gave it to Doctor Bhayia. "Can you feel how its beating? It works hard all day to pump blood. There is one like that in all of us. the world will look to be happy. that I can put so many people into it. time... Arushi thought he was already a doctor. dejected. This is what Rajat read out: 1 red. to share with you. her eyes shining. I seek your permission. what my seven year old sister has to say on this topic." Arushi sat down to work seriously. was studying medicine. If my heart did not give love I would die.are.

But you have a lot to learn yet. Do you think that people like us who have made a name in the world of music are any different from you? No. You have to train under the grand maestros.” The rest of the contestants went through their turns of listening to the opinions of the judges on their respective performances. wept openly. It was a rare honour to get a chance to sing on this platform. Little Arushi had seen beyond what doctors see. even we are still learning. men who had made a name for themselves in the world of music. Good luck to you. started with bated breaths and pounding hearts. It was time for the final verdict. The road is tough but it’s not impossible to conquer. She fought to hold them back. You have sung it terribly! I cannot even count the number of mistakes you have made. There was a thunderous applause from the audience. having proved your mettle in such a sea of talent. They had the audience literally dancing to their tunes. for they could not hold back the tears of disappointment. You have my blessings. She had seen beyond the mechanics. He said. the flesh and the blood. one is always a learner. centrestage and said to her. only five contestants were short-listed.” He went on to sing a line from the same song to show this bewildered contestant. you were brave to have chosen that song. Don’t give up. “First of all young lady I wish to congratulate you for having reached the final round. but her eyelids were not strong enough to hold in control the flood of emotions that besieged her. you have to practice day and night. Soon the singing part was over. “Well. Come out of your Utopia. Truly she had understood the real functioning of the heart! THE MUSIC COMPETITION A talent search competition was being conducted by a music company for young budding singers. You have immense potential in you. Tears streamed down the girls cheeks. At the end of the second round. young lady. “I wonder what prompted you to choose such a difficult composition to sing. in front of such a voluminous audience and in the midst of so much talent. Lady luck shall surely smile on you if you continue to persevere.” It was the turn of the third judge to speak now. Let me tell you. Those that did not make it. Meera. you just need to garner it right. The mike was passed on to the second judge. The second round. The first round being one of elimination brought the number down to ten. The lucky five sang in the final round. All the young participants put forward their best. You need to train for longer hours. The contestants had sung in front of three eminent judges. In this field. you can make it if you practice consistently. What struck the audience was not the final . the only difference is that you are yet to become famous.There was pin-drop silence. He said. we are also like you. Then the Professor rose up from his seat and started clapping One by one. The crowd was going berserk with enthusiasm. just how it should have been sung. The first judge called one of contestants. everyone stood up to give a standing ovation. I wish you luck. be happy. You youngsters think that by singing a few numbers here and there you can become singers of repute. Twenty two entries had been selected from the hundreds of entries received. The singers had excelled. But don’t worry.

It is not the critic who is important. When the road was ready.” All the young men helped to level out the land. He has had the spirit of adventure. The village was about a mile away on either side from two different highways. So. He bought a hundred saplings of mulberry. The funds were not enough for making a proper road. Mahipal still had some money left over. but the attitude of the judges. They cleared the track of bushes and trees and beat down the mud to settle it. we shall divert the path a little to go by its side. In a couple of days the contractor reported to Karam that the road was ready. Karam and Mahipal. Karam set to work the very next day. Even if he fails. The small amount that was left over. The Sarpanch gave both Karam and Mahipal an equal amount of money from the village funds and asked each of them to get Kuchha roads made to connect the village to the highway on either side. Life they say is a rocky road. He has had the strength to submit himself to a verdict of success or failure. The challenge is to let it not grind you into dust. They even erected small banks of mud on either side. The track cut through the play ground where some boys played Kabaddi. He had become very old and was failing health. Do you know what most of them were discussing? They were discussing who the best judge was! Encouragement and appreciation are tonics that are always in short supply. Together the boys planted them on either side of the road. Mahipal said. “We shall not cut it. The old Sarpanch decided to put both of them to test. he told the village elders that he wanted to retire from the post of Sarpanch.result. He also got together all the young boys in the village and asked them to lend a hand in clearing the path to make a road for ‘our village’. Mahipal used to buy some sweets and distributed them amongst his spirited team of youngsters. Having discussed the pros and cons of having either of the two as Sarpanch. Inderpal was the Sarpanch of a village. the elders were unable to make a final selection. They zeroed down on the names of two men. Half way through they came across an old Banyan tree. He employed a contractor who came with a large team of labourers. a few were discussing the participants and the results. There is no greatness in pointing out where and how great men stumbled. Mahipal on the other hand. recruited only a few labourers. but polish you into a brilliant gem! THE VILLAGE SARPANCH The villages in India have a head-man called Sarpanch. make mistakes and then get up and try again! A winner is one who after a long journey of sweat and perspiration has the strength to make it to the end. . at least he has had the experience of the journey. Important are those who have had the guts to enter the arena. As the audience walked out of the auditorium. A couple of names were suggested. Both of them were considered to be capable young men. For not all people have the guts to try.

for when he comes with his army of clouds. There is no way that I can defend myself against their sharp teeth.” .The completion of work was reported to the old Sarpanch. The Sarpanch was especially touched by the gesture of side tracking the old Banyan tree and not axing it. he is a leader of people and that because he and his word are worthy of trust. I have to change my track. let me tell you that the Rain God is mightier than me. He has been honest to the cause and has shed sweat to involve people and make a team. only one who serves is fit to become a leader. “Perhaps you don’t know that the Mountain God is more powerful than me. But if you are looking for a powerful husband. Please accept her as your wife. “Madam.” The Rain God replied with a twinkle in his eye. When I bump into him. credibility and his ability to create a team.” The wind God chuckled and said. “Please dear Mountain God. The Sarpanch was happy. I am indeed moved that you thought of me as a good match for your daughter. The Sarpanch went to see both the roads. I am completely overshadowed. Moreover. Mahipal has been able to win the trust of all these youngsters that is why they have followed him. She would be a perfect bride for you. He along with his caravan of rats digs into my body. She went to the Sun God and said to him. A leader is never a leader alone.” So the mother rat went to the king of rats and said wearily. Sometimes it can be funny too! A pretty. Later he went to see the other road. It is his dedication.” The tired mother rat hobbled up to the Mountain God and proposed to him. “My daughter is extremely beautiful and your power is unmatched. young she-rat was eligible for marriage. They make holes and burrows wherever they please. Her mother was somewhat over ambitious and decided that she must find a very powerful husband for her darling daughter.” The mother rat rushed to the Rain God and said. He named Mahipal as the new Sarpanch saying. the ambitious mother scurried away to the God of Wind and swiftly proposed to him. “Oh mighty God of wind! Please marry my lovely daughter. for he is immovable. “I am honoured by your proposal. Your power and her beauty shall make a great alliance. I try hard but I cannot move him.” The Sun God smiled warmly and said. Why don’t you propose to him?” So. please marry my daughter. He was greeted by a whole group of youngsters. don’t you know that the God of Wind is more powerful than me! He can blow my clouds to smithereens if he wants to. “The most essential quality of a leader is not perfection.” THE RAT BRIDE It is good to be ambitious. but let me tell you that the king of rats is more powerful than me. please make her your wife. “Oh King! I offer my beautiful daughter to you. “Dear Rain God. They showed him the saplings that they had planted. “Lady. It looked quite professional and meticulously done. He was impressed by the perfection with which Karam had done the job. eager to see the reaction of the Sarpanch. She shall make a very suitable bride for you. but being over ambitious can lead to disappointment. will you have my charming daughter for a bride?” The Mountain God spoke in a grating voice.

all the residents would sit outside in the garden. it’s good to dream but only if you keep your feet planted firmly on the ground! HOME OF PEACEFUL EMPATHY The ‘Home Of Peaceful Empathy’ or HOPE as it was popularly known was a home for the aged. and all the men ‘Grandpa’. I mean. Would you like to come to his room?” The old man followed the lady to Bunty’s room. It was a daily routine that these elderly people looked forward to. Tea and biscuits would be served to them. It had about thirty residents. others were healthy. “Gladly!” So the king of rats married the pretty young lady. She signalled for them to be quiet. A worried looking mother opened the door. Next to his bed was a trolley laden with bottles of glucose and dextrose.” . Every evening he would come to the old age home and chat with the residents. Sometimes Bunty would play the guitar and sing songs for them. He seemed to have no friends of his age. “Yes. They would often ask her why Bunty had no friends of his age. but sometimes she would come along with Bunty and chat with these oldies. we haven’t seen him around for some days. there was no sign of him. “He’s happier playing with you. There were numerous bottles of medicine. Another day he brought his cricket bat and played cricket with them. A bottle of blood was being transfused into the boy. In life too. “Good evening ma’am! I was wondering if Bunty is well. He’s been struggling with the pain. The little boy was very thin and weak. On the fourth day. The sight he saw stopped him in his tracks. no. the ambitious mother rat realized that her beautiful daughter was fit to be a bride only for a rat. “He has just gone to sleep. pressed the door bell of Bunty’s house. Bunty’s mother was usually busy with her household chores. one old man who was really missing Bunty. He called all the women ‘Grandma’. Sometimes he would bring yellow daisies for them. Bunty is sick. Please don’t disturb him. They looked forward to Bunty’s visits just as much as he looked forward to them.The king of rats blushed from ear to ear and said. One day he told them about the drama that they had at school. Two things they all had in common: Their children didn’t want to keep them and they all had a limited lease of life left! Every evening. Bunty. Is everything alright?” The woman hesitated. Some were sick. Perhaps he has got something in common with you. They had a grand wedding and the rest they say is history! Finally. others were confined to wheelchairs. He loved these old people and he loved to see them laugh. it isn’t. Some were active. but he didn’t turn up. He enacted the various roles all by himself. He loved to see the Grandpa’s turn into little boys.” One evening the residents waited for Bunty. The management would put cane chairs outside. She got up and motioned them to come out of the room. She would simply say. Next door lived a young couple and their ten year old son. There was a nurse on duty. The next day too. He would put the daisies into the hair of the old women and into the button holes of the old men’s jackets.

The lady said. while playing games. Luckily there was no loss of life. He came to see us everyday. One such father was on a business tour to a foreign . The old man said. It was late in the evening when the truck owner returned home. Three days back he contracted a viral. she said. In the wee hours of the morning he got the message that one of his trucks had skidded and overturned on the highway. “In the hurry.” The old man was speechless.” She swallowed to hide her tears. Many hours passed. He’s not able to match up with his peers at school. It makes him happy. Come to think of it. but those who learn to live with things that are less than perfect! THE APPLE TRUCK A man owned many trucks. first and foremost we are answerable to our own conscience! FIND YOUR WAY BACK HOME The father of a teenager usually tries to teach him life skills in an attempt to prepare him for the proverbial ‘Big-bad world’. He’d be heart broken if all of you were to pity him. but he never let us know. “Didn’t you say that there were apples strewn all over the road? Why didn’t you pick up a couple of those and eat them? Why did you go hungry all day?” He said simply.” As she served him food. We requested the doctor to give him the blood transfusion at home. He was pained to see the truck laid upside down on the roadside. Bunty is thalasemmic. The contractor who owned the apples came to retrieve what ever he could. to look in to the matter. so he opts to play with all of you. Get me some food quickly. “He never told us. each professional. “How could I? They didn’t belong to me!” How true! We are answerable to others later. He got a chest infection and had very high fever. He never wanted to discuss his disease. The Insurance company executives had come to assess the loss. all that concern and laughter from a child who was thalasemmic! The happiest people in the world are not those who have no problems. doing his job to get things back into the streamline. so I allow him to see you every evening. A crane was called to put the truck back on its wheels. At dawn the truck owner went to the site of the accident. even you never let us know!” “Grandpa. I left my wallet at home. He used to let them out for the transport of apples from Himachal Pradesh to the plains. “Grandpa. I’ve not had a bite all day. “Every month we take him to the hospital for his blood transfusion. all that sharing and caring. I’m really hungry. Bunty’s a strong willed boy. It will take a while for him to get well. He told his elder sister. Most of the apple boxes had split open and the apples were strewn all over the road. tired and weary. He has very low immunity. All the little acts of love.

So. I’m quite proud of you!” Years passed. “I wanted to see. They were walking on a busy road. I was testing you to see whether you could find your way back to me. I wonder why you created me and then left me alone in this world to fend for my self. he walked. He rummaged through his pockets. “Lord. only to find that he did not have enough money to pay for his fare back to the hotel. “I was only a few steps away from you. He sat down and thought. Anyways. he did not even know the way back. without letting him know his actual predicament. I am old now. Suddenly the boy realized that the father was no where around. The boy was scared. As the sun began to set. the shops. you decided to test your son?” “Yes. He felt tears brimming in his eyes. he found his way back to his father! I too expect you to find your way back to your eternal father.” “Oh! Really? Then why did you follow me all the time?” “I had to be sure you were safe. They went out in the day. “Do you remember the day. with no money in my pocket?’ Just then he heard the key turn in the door and father walked in! “Dad. He took a bus to a place that was half way to the hotel. Where were you? I’ve been looking for you all over? Why did you leave me alone and go away?” The father eased himself out of his shoes and stretched himself onto the bed. I must say. Why do you not guide me? Why don’t you talk to me sometimes?” Then God replied. The boy looked in the restrooms. He read the directions from the site maps on the way. if you could fend for yourself. he tactfully asked the traffic policeman to guide him on how to get there. but he fought them back. I too expect you to find your way home. for that was the farthest he could pay for. Many times he had to ask for directions from strangers. He looked around for him desperately. I’ve gone through so many ups and downs in life.country. you did rather well. Your son did well. ‘What next? What should I do? How will I find him in this alien land. One quiet evening. The other half. the boy decided that the best thing he could do was to make his way back to the hotel. He had taken his fourteen year old son with him. Do you even know what I have been through? As I sit in this armchair in the twilight of my life. hungry and weary. but he was disappointed. even for a moment?” “No. He marched up the stairs to their room. He walked the street up and down several times but could not find his father. It was late in the night when he finally trudged into the hotel tired. but to no avail. the old man sat in the garden.” “Neither did I! If only you had looked around carefully. They were staying at a small hotel. to your eternal . hoping to find father inside. He was talking to God. looking at the sunset.” “Did you let him out of your sight. I wonder what life is all about. you would have seen me. all the time!” “What do you mean?” asked the boy incredulously. But no where could he find his father. the restaurants and the corridors. The boy grew up to be a man and the father became old.

Abdul Kalam. “Well! Can we give them the church for the benefit of our country?” Slowly. for a nationalistic cause. I am waiting for you to find your way back to me because you belong to me. She had to forego her own dinner to buy some milk for them. This church belongs to the people. THE TWINS A young woman labourer assisted in building roads. In addition there was a church on that land. Father Peter Peirera addressed the gathering and conveyed the request of the scientists.home! Come my child.. numb with pain. He was told that one of the woman labourers had died leaving behind two little babies.” SPACE RESEARCH A senior scientist was doing space research.J.P. he needed a big piece of land a little far away from the city. “No!” The officer explained that the land that they were asking for was home to a number of fishermen.. who was in charge of the church. perhaps we could request the church management. the scientist and his students went to request Father Peter Peirera. The woman was weak and miserably poor. ‘yes’. For his research.” Ironically. It would not be possible to give it. “Officer. Vikram Sarabhai. Incidentally. “Oh God! What is the crime committed by these poor souls! Who will look after them? Have mercy on them!” Out of compulsion. The scientist requested the officer with a smile saying. till the entire crowed agreed unanimously to give up their place of worship. in a pool of blood. The contractor went to the house of the old woman . is none other than Dr. you could ask Father Peter Peirera. Abdul made his first rocket there.” The following Sunday.. very slowly. The first response was. Former President of India! All that. Another space was allotted and a new church was built for Father Peter Peirera and his people. it was used as a workshop for the research programme by the scientist and his team. the scientists name was Dr. ‘yes’. Father said. I shall have to ask them. As for the old church. The old woman put one of the wailing babies to the breast of the young mother. He along with one of his students called Abdul. A. The other baby slept peacefully by her mother’s side. He had a group of young scientists to assist him. And Abdul. Try your luck!” So. She had just given birth to twin daughters. drop by drop. the old woman looked after the babies for the night. approached the Municipal Officer concerned and put in a request for allotment of land for scientific research. after the service was over. thanks to the large heartedness and vision of a nationalist called Father Peter Peirera. The only person attending to her was an old woman who was also part of the road building team. Then he asked. the people started saying ‘yes’. “Well. She fed it to them. The God of death hovered around her and soon her painful life drew to an end. “Well scientific research is much required for our country. The next day the road contractor came. if they could shift to another suitable place. But this is God’s home. She was lying behind a bush. the officer smiled and said. The old woman looked at the newly born girls and beseeched the Lord.

Let us arrange for a beautiful open-jeep carriage to take the body to the funeral ground. very similar. He said. I want to tell you that Anubha is my daughter in every sense except the biological one. the old woman would not have come forward to care for them.. When God denies you your wishes. He confirms that you made the wrong choice. The wedding was fixed. the girl brought her parents and sister.” Then it came back to him! He looked at the girls closely and saw the black moles on their left cheeks. He confirms that He is waiting for the right time to give you the right thing. Finally we brought them up as our own. They were probably just a few days old. When God keeps you waiting. A very old woman died in a dirty cottage. God alone knows what is good for each one of us. he chose to keep quiet. He knew who they were! But. The next day.. He noticed that they both had a mole on the left cheek and looked very. He confirms that He loves you. Had the young mother not died. The eldest son said.. Twenty years later. “Father has only a few breaths left now. for he could not bear the stench of the damp walls mixing with the smell of urine and stale milk. We tried our best to find out about their family but to no avail. He rushed out of the room. Had the mother not died. When God answers your Prayer. the young son of the contractor brought home a beautiful girl. Soon he will die. these girls would surely have become labourers too.. Another one opens.to see the girls. His four sons stood around him. When one door closes. These two girls were crying by her side. The contractor was much impressed by the sisters. The secret that had been guarded by the couple from their own ‘daughters’ should remain a secret. And had the old woman not died. THE LAST JOURNEY A rich old man was very ill and was on his ‘death-bed’. He told his father that he wanted to marry her. One of you go and talk to the flower girl to deliver fifty garlands of fresh balsam flowers so that . The contractor asked the girl to bring her family. He handed out some money to the old woman and mumbled something under his breath. The girl’s father asked to talk to the contractor alone. My wife and I were passing by. “Sir.

” The roses on the third bush said softly. The third bush had soft light pink roses known as desi-gulab or wild roses. but they were extremely fragrant. “We are so perfect. do we really need the new clothes? He is going to be dead anyways. Each bush was abloom with roses of different hues. Why don’t we just ask for the ambulance from the ‘Jeevan Hospital’. “Of what use is the ambulance from Jeevan Hospital? We can request for an ambulance from the Government Hospital or from the Red Cross Society. The very sons for whose sake he had toiled all his life! For them he had scrimped and scraped for years to give them a good life. shapes and sizes. Two beautiful . The garland stringer chopped off the stalks and leaves. He won’t even know. the gardener came and cut the rose stalks.” The next day. for red roses are the ultimate expression of love. long time.” THE ROSE GARDEN Spring had brought new life to this beautiful rose garden. He said.we can decorate the arthi nicely. After all what does it matter to a dead man. “If one of you will kindly bring my shoes. I think my shoes are enough for me to walk out of here. He sent them to a florist. It’s only a short distance from our house to the crematorium. adding some asparagus ferns and silver strings. I don’t need help from anyone of you. She strung the roses into an exquisite garland.” The old man happened to be listening to this conversation between his sons. down the road? It shall not cost as much as the jeep carriage. Surely that should be more economical. we should be displayed for people to see and admire. Our father has lived like a king. The roses on three of the bushes got talking. He said. The roses on the first bush were blood red in colour. We are four of us. So. The carriage shall cost us dear. What was this they were saying? His sons! His dearly beloved sons! His own flesh and blood! With a surge of energy he sprang up from the bed and said. “We wish we could be given to a beloved. he must go too. They were not at all pretty to look at. Each one of them was exquisitely formed.” The roses on the second bush said. I don’t need a carriage.” The second son said. “Why to order the flowers? They shall rot in this heat anyways. The second bush had roses in yellow with pink streaks. whether his last journey is in a fancy carriage or in an ordinary ambulance?” The youngest son was craftier still. we can put him on a cot and carry him on our shoulders. I’ll just go by myself. “Why bother with the ambulance and the flowers? The funeral ground is just behind our house anyway. And. like a King. He wanted to leave behind enough wealth to make them comfortable for a long. Each fold and each petal was a sculpted masterpiece. “We hope to be able to spread our fragrance to more and more people. The red roses said. The red roses were bought by a rich old lady who passed them on to an expert garland stringer. but their unique selling point was their shape. Also order a set of new clothes for him.” The third son was even thriftier. an ambulance or a cot.

Eventually they wilted and the hotel cleaner dumped them into the garbage along with the rotting peels of vegetables. The roses were proud for they were the centre of attraction for all to see. They added some powder to the water now and then so that it would not start stinking due to stagnation. deep in conversation. They were almost beginning to rot and their dreams of giving fragrance to people seemed to be quite impossible to realize. “Oh Krishna! Oh Radha! We are sorry for being vain. When the flowers were totally dry. The entire set up was placed on the centre table of the entrance of a hotel. A man saw the wilting red garlands. but the physical and the mundane. Please Lord! Give us another chance to serve you. but only a few people had time to stop by and admire their perfection. The roses wept for they felt dejected and useless. holding their cell phones. Others hurried past. egg shells and chicken bones. The next day the priest removed the garlands from the deities and cast them away in a corner of the temple. Perhaps you could identify . Here is some food for thought. The wild roses were focussed right from day one. Even their cries could be heard by no one. glancing at their expensive wrist watches and talking sixteen miles to a dozen. The roses were so happy that they literally wept in devotion! In the corner of the temple the repentance of the proud red roses had finally touched the heart of the Lord. they were crushed to a fine powder and some glue like substance and some oils were added to them. He picked them up and put them in the sun to dry along with many other flowers that had been laid out for drying. but no one came forward to listen to their cries. The petals lay immersed in the water for days. Eventually the florist gave them away for free to the girl who worked in the shop. Let us pause for a moment to look into the fate of the little pink roses. She offered them with devotion to Radha and Krishna at the temple. The yellow roses preened and smiled. for no one seemed to want to buy them. The red roses were happy for they had been used by the lady as an offering of love. Many devotees saw the exquisite garlands and wowed at them. but they were happy! What about the perfect yellow roses? They spent all their life waiting for recognition and admiration.” The roses beseeched the Lord. Aggarbattis were made! They were used in the temple to sanctify the area with their aroma. The end that you eventually meet with depends upon the road you choose to take for the journey. The girl took the roses home and gave them to her mother. The red roses swelled with vanity. Find your focus. The red roses’ vanity was burnt away and they were reduced to nothing. Meanwhile the perfect yellow roses were bought by an interior decorator and were used to design an enormous flower arrangement along with various types of greens. A group of young workers were deputed to hand roll the mixture onto fine sticks.garlands were made and delivered to the rich old lady. The red roses suffered a setback to their vanity but made up for it because they soon realised their folly. The mother shook off all the petals into a huge basin of water. Please do not caste us away. Some days later she carefully removed the petals and pure rose water was left behind! She bottled the rose water and gave it to the priest in the temple. That bunch was left sitting in the shop of the florist for days. The red roses cried. that is of utmost importance. Busy executives rushed past. We were too caught up in pride to enjoy our closeness with you. whereas the yellow roses thought about nothing. to none other than Radha-Krishna the proverbial lovers. The priest used the fragrant rose water to wash the feet of the Lord and also to sprinkle on devotees to shower blessings on them.

Their savings had been spent to the last penny in trying to save him. It said. Again and again the lawyer called out for someone to name a price. because he came in the way. you were crying and all those around you were smiling. “You are not alone. The bullet that was meant for me. The pain had been too much to bear and he had lost the will to live. He had lost his only son in a battle. “I can pay Rs. “The entire collection of paintings shall be inherited by the buyer of my son’s portrait. she was totally a home-bird. I was with him when he died.. He showers upon us His choicest treasures and blesses us with His grace LORD THY WILL BE DONE Marina’s husband had just passed away to a terminal illness. Gone. a visitor knocked at his door and said “Sir. Sorrow and age had wrought havoc on his face and dulled his vision. i. I was also a soldier in your son’s army regiment. I have painted a portrait of your son.. Do you want to end up giving fragrance to the world or do you want to end up in a dustbin? The choice is yours! When you came into this world. I have special instructions regarding his most valuable property.. The lawyer said. It was put above the mantelpiece in a place of honour.” So saying. His body had become infirm and weak. There were no takers. Marina’s world had just crumbled to bits. but no one wanted the crudely painted picture. The portrait is yours. I have been directed to put up for auction.”. She had no work experience. One afternoon. If only we show love towards those whom He loves. Three . the old lawyer put up the portrait of the deceased son that had been presented by the soldier. do let us know”. cut it open and pulled out the Will.e. but this one touched his heart. . She had a fourteen year old daughter and an eleven year old son. “If there is anything that we can do to help.” That was the end of the auction. Live your life such that when you are to go. Most of them offered. The old family gardener came forward.27/. you are smiling and others are crying THE SON’S PORTRAIT Kripa had become old. The rest of the property may be auctioned and the proceeds used for setting up an orphanage for the orphans of war. I must auction out the vast collection of paintings and utilize the sum as directed in the letter.” The lawyer counted “One .. Many years later.” Then he reached into his pocket and took out an envelope. actually hit him. this portrait of his son first of all.. we will stand by you.for it.. Kripa passed away. please accept it as a gift. Two . Friends and relatives came to console her.” Kripa was a connoisseur of art.. I owe my life to him. his collection of master pieces..with either of the roses and in case you are on the wrong track. “Before I read out the Will regarding the inheritance of the property. this could just be the right time for you to change your track. The walls of his beautiful house were adorned with masterpieces of great value. So it is with the Lord. His lawyer had a letter that was to be read out after the cremation.. rummaged through his worn out pockets and said.

I’m always willing to help. “Actually Marina. to turn your thoughts away from all your problems and leave everything into His hands saying. it is then that you realize that God is all that you really needed! BALD HEADED There was tension in the air as mother stood behind her daughter’s chair in the dinning room. when He asks you to surrender your problems to Him and forget about them.. She was offered the job... for the warden was supposed to be present all day. I mean. if I eat it. Grandma looked disgusted at the attitude of the mother. “It may not be a ‘thing’.” This went on. To surrender means. Today’s menu for lunch was jackfruit and curd with Roti.” A week later Marina applied for a job as a salesgirl. you have to have a certain personality to look after such a job. Just finish it fast and tell me what you want. The poor child looked at the revolting mass in her plate and felt that if she ate it. Till one night.” When at last you realize that God is all you have left. Marina requested one of these friends to help her get a job as a receptionist at a local school. so he watched in silence. but if there is anything else.” The girl said. She cried her heart out and prayed. She refused to eat the jackfruit. Mother was equally adamant. she would definitely throw up.” She cried herself to sleep. provided she could move into a residence at the hostel premises. the owner is my friend no doubt. but you are really not the type. The next morning she found an advertisement in the newspaper for a walk-in-interview to fill the post of a warden for a Boarding school. She would have to eat it! There was no way that mother was going to let the girl leave the table without eating the much detested vegetable. “You see Marina. Suddenly she said.A month later. Her expenses seemed to soar whereas her resources dwindled. I would have spoken to the Principal for you. all her problems were solved! It is only God who stands by His words. In her dream she saw God smiling at her and blessing her. “Okay. The next instalment for the school fees of her children was due in a fortnight. meaningless endearments and lame excuses. “Oh God! Why did you do this to us? How shall I tend to my children? Please help me for I am absolutely alone. hollow words. The mother said.” The girl put a spoonful of jackfruit into her mouth and made a face as if she was tasting poison.” Father said. I’ll get it for you.. She walked into the interview room with the confidence that stems only from God’s presence in you. The little girl had her eyes and her plate full. The friend said. will you grant me a wish?” Father grabbed the opportunity to resolve the situation and said quickly.. Thy will be done. “Yes honey. It may be something else. Now gobble it up. The school provided free education to the wards of their employees! The school mess would also provide free meals to her wards and herself. With one stroke. whatever you say.. He does not take over. in a women’s garments store and asked a relative to put in a word for her. The tension was unnerving. if you continue to worry about them. but she is just not the obliging type. Marina broke down. “Don’t worry. they really won’t listen to anyone. I’ve given you my promise. But. The house rent was grossly overdue. “See that you . “Lord. How else would she learn to eat all kinds of vegetables? The father had promised his wife that he would let her take the forefront when it came to discipline.

what about that now? You are going back on your word.” he said. You see he has leukaemia. Daddy’s heart melted.” Daddy said. the most precious things in life can not be made or bought.” The man was even more confused now. The teacher conducted a preliminary test on him to guage his talent . “But. “She has done her part. But I never thought she would actually live up to it. “Who ever heard of a girl getting her head shaved? I will not allow it. “I want to get my head shaved!” Mother’s spoon fell from her hand. “Daddy you promised me. It’s not such a big deal after all!” The girl ate it all up. “But darling you shall look obnoxious. she will never learn to honour hers. Father said.” Father stood his ground. Looking at the little girl’s tear filled eyes. Father was surprised to note that the boy too had no hair on his head. now don’t be unfair to her and stop making a fuss!” Father took the girl to the barber and got the job done. “What rubbish! That’s impossible. He visited a renowned music teacher and expressed his desire to him. He did not understand. so that the other children at the park would not jeer at him. If we do not honour our word. “No. apparently the bald boy’s mother came up to him and said. Silly girl!” said mother. It was a bargain. She tried to smile bravely and said. “Look my child. don’t even dream about it. It’s so unfair!” she said in a trembling voice. although he could not make out head or tail of why she wanted to do such a weird thing. “Oh no! My son did not have to get his head shaved. saying that she too would come with her head shaved to make sure that no body laughed at him!” That is love! Pure and simple! No strings attached! Truly. be reasonable and I shall surely let you have your way. He was afraid that the other children would make fun of him. they are gifted to us by God. During the chemotherapy he lost all his hair and was refusing to come out of the house. A short while later a boy came to the park. Later in the evening. this is quite a ridiculous thing to ask for. After all. She promised my son that she would get her head shaved. it’s just a bowl of jackfruit. He had a good voice and he wanted to train to become an Indian classical singer. he took her to the park to play as he did every evening. Why don’t we buy you a nice Barbie doll instead?” “But I don’t want a doll. What’s the big deal about it?” Mother said. He said. You gave me your word. I just want to get my head shaved. And how does it matter anyway? Its just hair! It will grow back. THE ROSE BUD A young boy wanted to learn music. with a clatter and grandma almost fainted.don’t go overboard in asking for a wish. washed it down with a whole glass of water and then said quickly.” But the girl was adamant. You have always taught me about the value of honouring your word. “You had your way. was this the latest fashion or what? Just then a lady. “You have quite a daughter. why did your son have to get his head shaved?” he asked. For once Grandma seemed to see eye to eye with her daughter in law but chose to keep silent. But your daughter coaxed him on the phone to come today. we just have to realize how precious they are.

how much time. but seeing the children eat. because singing is about learning more and more each day. Had the bud grown naturally it would have been beautiful at each stage of its life. perhaps the bud was in too much of a hurry. A man decided to go for a trek to the top of the mountain. He took out his packed lunch and ate it. The flowers in the valley and on the mountain were in full bloom.. The man noticed that the dog was bleeding. I am the cause of its present state. It would have spread fragrance all around and its beauty would have lent splendour to our garden. some of the petals got torn and mutilated.?” The teacher said.. how much time would I need to train under your guidance.. “Guruji. Hurry has now become a cause for worry. The lovely spruce trees looked rich and green. “Look son. its not going to be a short time. hard he tried.” That evening. The young man filled up his haversack and strapped it on to his back. He was wary of eating them. others fell off. Please unfold me petal by petal at your own pace and will. Every now and then he stopped to admire the flowers and the trees. He went on further uphill. Everything around him looked so happy. the boy asked the same question. whistling a merry tune to himself.” TREKKING IN THE MOUNTAINS Spring was in the air. The next morning the teacher saw the plight of the rose bud and understood what had happened. the boy went and squatted near the bush. But. he ate them too. was in a hurry to bloom from a bud into a flower overnight. A stray dog ventured near him. The man continued his trek up the mountain. The number of days it takes to unfold its petals to become a full grown flower. how soon can I become a singer?” The teacher said. It had hurt its leg. lest they are poisonous.and decided to give him a try. He met some village children on the way. till he reached the top. “Guruji. it’s not the buds fault. smiled inwardly and thought.” A few months later. I pried it open. The spring in his step matched the spring in the air. the boy was in tears. He stopped to feed the squirrels and the birds.” The boy. “Do you see that rose bud on the bush outside. that’s the number of years you’ll take to learn. but I promise to let you shape me as you wish. He wept. He gave them some toffees and chatted with them. whining. this bud. It seems to have outdone its potential to grow. got crushed into the stamen. I cannot give back its babyhood to the bud. even as long as you live. Slowly and carefully he tried to open up the petals of the rose bud to make it look like a flower. it shall never become a perfect rose flower now. Just look at the state of its petals. The pine cones looked like . He called the boy and said. ” By now. “I’ll soon learn everything there is to learn. However. I have made a mistake. The boy asked. “Well. The children plucked wild berries off the trees and offered them to the man. He took out his first aid kit and carefully reached out for the poor mongrel. he threw some tidbits to the rabbits too. “Guruji. He washed the wound and dressed it up. it seems. He walked up slowly but surely. The inner most that were just beginning to form.. They skipped along with him and showed him the best path to take.. I am determined. He started his trek uphill. But one thing you can be sure of. that depends upon how much work you are able to put into it. They showed him the rarest species of mountain undergrowth that only the locals know of.

to holidays and so on. He saw the bandage that he had earlier applied to him. Now what? He applied some balm to his ankle and tied it up. He realized that he may have to spend the night there. His little acts of kindness and love had won him enough friends to help him when he was making his descent. Soon he was transported into a world of exquisite marble statues that he had sculpted. It is important to be nice to people on our way up for we may need them on our way down. to food. to foes. . but he just couldn’t walk. As the sun went down he realized that it was time to go back. The air was cool and pure. He basked in the sun for a while.” and went outside. Tarun asked. Half way down. but his mind would wander from friends. take this stone and try to cut a straight line through it with my chisel and hammer. “Here. The dog seemed to understand that the man needed help. So too it is in life. In the evening they went to the temple. His favourite pass time was day dreaming. try your hand. How grand those armchairs looked! Till “Ooow!” he yelled! He had banged his thumb with the hammer! He mumbled “Sorry. to games. Just then he saw the stray dog looking at him. One day his father asked him. Tarun hammered in a nail and then went into a reverie. followed by a group of children. look around at different people working in different vocations and try to plan your future. Tarun watched the carpenter with fascination as the latter sawed and nailed the wood together. all the way down the mountain. CONCENTRATION Tarun was always unhappy. But the day-dream came to a rude halt as the chisel went into his heel. so he could never hold his mind onto the subject that he was supposed to be studying.” Tarun started excitedly.nuggets of gold hanging on the trees. How beautiful they looked! The sculptor was fixing the pedestal as many people looked on in awe! Tarun asked the sculptor. He licked the foot of the man and then limped away. because he was fed up with his studies.” “Well. “Today wherever you go. “Please. Some time later the dog was back. He started his descent. He placed the stone between his feet and carefully wielded the chisel and hammer. nursing his swollen thumb. The children recognized him as the toffee-man.” said father. like an injured puppy. I never thought about it. “Son. “Will you teach me how to make statues?” “Why not!” said the sculptor. He would sit on his study desk. His father had called him to repair a window that had broken in the storm last week. with his books open in front of him. He was all alone. “I don’t know father. He yelped in pain as his ankle got twisted. He was making masterpieces of furniture in teak and mahogany. He lacked concentration. can I hammer the nails in?” “Sure. Together. to films.” That afternoon the doorbell rang and Tarun opened the door to a carpenter. the children helped him to hobble back.” beamed the carpenter. what would you like to be when you grow up?” He answered. he slipped and fell. Tarun yelped in pain. New idols of Goddess Lakshmi and Lord Vishnu were being installed. causing it to bleed.

in the morning after having completed your morning ablutions. prayers.000 people attending. He said. but the friend saved him. At the end of her speech. about a month later. where they decided to take a bath. but without saying anything. During some point of the journey they had an argument.” Sure! If you are a good student. All that these people have to do is to offer food to the Lord and shake the bell.He eyed the temple priest’s large belly and thought to himself. got stuck in the mire and started drowning. What should he do? Concentration was required for being a carpenter or a sculptor or even a temple priest." Johnny the Bagger (A True Story) Barbara Glanz is a speaker and author. Her talk was on creating memories for the customers so they would want to come back. she spoke at a convention for a large grocery chain with over 3.”Well. After the friend recovered from the near drowning. we should write it down in sand where winds of forgiveness can erase it away. and I like it! I'm just a bagger in the . “I’m going to be a good student. can I work with you?” “Of course. why?" The other friend replied: "When someone hurts us. Barbara gets a call from a young man who introduces himself as Johnny.” So. and said. The one who got slapped was hurt. you wrote in the sand and now. I heard what you had to say about service. there was no respite in any profession. you write on a stone. any vocation is good for you. fasts. "After I hurt you. "If you have any great service stories. he wrote on a stone: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SAVED MY LIFE." They kept on walking until they found an oasis. who had been slapped. Just then he heard his father. you can master any trade! Sand and Stone A story tells that two friends were walking through the desert. The one. wrote in the sand: "TODAY MY BEST FRIEND SLAPPED ME IN THE FACE. But. I'd like to hear them.m. offerings. "Barbara. he went up to the priest and asked “Panditji. If you are a hardworking person and can work in earnest. “Hey Tarun! Have you thought about what I asked you?” “Yes father. she gave out her email address and phone number. when someone does something good for us. A few years ago.. How on earth could he possibly learn all those mantras? He could not concentrate on the answers in his science book.. “I shall give you a book of the shalokas that you need to recite for yajnas. And they get so many nice things to eat in return.” said the fat Brahmin. You shall have to report to me at 5 a.” Poor Tarun.” said Tarun earnestly. “Surely I can become a priest." The friend who had slapped and saved his best friend asked him. we must engrave it in stone where no wind can ever erase it. festivals etc. and one friend slapped the other one in the face.

We're having the time of our lives. I decided that I like sayings. the rays of the morning sun hit a stone and made it sparkle like a rainbow. I think that's a wonderful idea!" A few weeks later. and it seems like everyone in town is talking about us! And you know what. That night the farmer couldn't sleep. I went to the back of the line and suggested that customers move to another checkout. one lady said. He says. however we'll never make the emotional connection with the customer unless it begins in our heart. When he got to Spain. "If you had a diamond the size of your thumb. he was emotionally. The next day when customers come through. and my dad and I will print it out on the computer. He was unhappy and he was discontent. I see the lady in the floral department cutting off her broken flowers and pinning them on the elderly women in our store. took care of his family and went in search of diamonds. A Inspirational and Motivational Story . everybody in our store is finding creative ways to put their mark on service. He was unhappy because he was discontent and discontent because he was unhappy. Our guy in the meat department loves Snoopy. Barbara? It happened for one reason…Johnny decided to do something!” When it comes to service. I'll just drop a strip right in their bags and say. The wise man said. Barbara gets another call…this time from the store manager. 'I used to come here once a week.store and I have Downs’s syndrome. He looked all through Europe and couldn't find any. I round up my team and tell them what Johnny has done to give our customers more than they expected. you could have your own city. “Barbara. . so he was putting his favorite Snoopy stickers on the packages.' So the next day. He was happy because he was content. but I wanted to think of a way I could make a difference. He looked all over Africa and couldn't find any. I went out into the store and noticed that one line was three times longer than the others. He picked up the stone and put it in the living room. I'll cut out the quote in strips and sign my name on the back of each one. 'I hope you enjoy my quote of the day. That afternoon. we all have our unique gifts to give. He was content because he was happy. If you had a diamond the size of your fist. the person who had bought his farm was watering the camels at a stream that ran through the farm. and they wouldn't budge—they wanted to see Johnny's quote of the day! In fact." And then he went away. The next morning he made arrangements to sell off his farm. and talking to his customers.' What do you think. In fact. Back home. physically and financially broke. so each day I'm going to pick out one that I like. One day a wise man came to him and told him about the glory of diamonds and the power that goes along with them. "Johnny. you won't believe what's happened at our store. He thought it would look good on the mantle piece. you could probably own your own country. Barbara?" Barbara said. Across the stream. He got so disheartened that he threw himself into the Barcelona River and committed suicide. but now I come 2-3 times just to see the smile on Johnny's face when he drops in his favorite quote.ACRES OF DAIMONDS There was a farmer in Africa who was happy and content.

" "It was worth it. "JIM. he was still alive and i had the satisfaction of hearing him say. Sir" the private answered. "Is Hafiz back?" The new owner said.. A Story to Share . There are many more. that's just a stone I picked up from the stream. Come. Sure enough. They would be happy to trade places with us. "I told you it wouldn't be worth it. 2." said the lieutenant.. They found that the farm was indeed covered with acres and acres of diamonds.. When people don't know how to recognize opportunity. "No." said the soldier. "But it was worth it because when i got to him. no." The lieutenant's advice didn't matter. Caught in a trench with continuous gunfire whizzing over his head.. While we are dyeing the grass on the other side. there are others who are dyeing the grass on our side. they complain of noise when it knocks. the soldier asked his lieutenant if he might go out into the "no man's land" between the trenches to bring his fallen comrade back.* What is the moral of this story? There are five morals: 1. When our attitude is right. The same opportunity never knocks twice. 5. Opportunity is always under our feet.That afternoon the wise man came and saw the stone sparkling.. The grass on the other side always looks greener.. The next one may be better or worse. and the soldier went anyway." The man said." They went and picked some samples and sent them for analysis." -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- . Miraculously he managed to reach his friend. though. 3. "Your friend is dead and you are mortally wounded. but it is never the same one.. All we need to do is recognize it. why do you ask?" The wise man said.True Friend Horror gripped the heart of the World War 1 soldier as he saw his lifelong friend fall in battle. hoist him onto his shoulder and bring him back to their company's trench. I KNEW YOU'D COME. I recognize one when I see one. and then looked kindly at his friend. the stones were diamonds. Your friend is probably dead and you may throw your life away. He asked. "What do you mean." he said. "but i don't think it will be worth it. As the two of them tumbled in together to the bottom of the trench. 4. "Your friend is dead" "YES. "You can go. "Because that is a diamond. worth it?" responded the Lieutenant. sir.. we realize that we are all walking on acres and acres of diamonds. I'll show you. We don't have to go anywhere. the officer checked the wounded soldier.

a nurse came running up and grabbed the old man. head in hands. buying and selling." he said. that had turned his life around. All year long he'd been wheeling and dealing. so the number of potatoes that a child . Within a few months." Then he turned and disappeared as quickly as he had come. he thought. Suddenly. A kindergarten teacher has decided to let her class play a game. stunned. signed by John D. "I can see that something is troubling you. and pushed it into his hand saying. It all lies in what we see it as. Meet me here exactly one year from today.Worth Reading… A business executive was deep in debt and could see no way out.000. But instead. The business executive saw in his hand a check for $500. convinced he had half a million dollars behind him. He's always escaping from the rest home and telling people he's John D. and you can pay me back at that time. Suddenly an old man appeared before him. It was his newfound self-confidence that gave him the power to achieve anything he went after. From the above story we can make out that Confidence is nothing but vision held positively no matter what. he realized that it wasn't the money. wondering if anything could save his company from bankruptcy. then one of the richest men in the world! "I can erase my money worries in an instant!" he realized. "Take this money. He sat on the park bench. the old man said. It comes from ones own commitment and dedication to ones vision! Seeing ourselves having what we want and feeling it with us all the time increases our confidence enormously. "I'm so glad I caught him!" she cried. Each potato will be given a name of a person that the child hates. Suppliers were demanding payment. Just knowing it was there might give him the strength to workout a way to save his business. After listening to the executive's woes. The teacher told each child in the class to bring along a plastic bag containing a few potatoes. At the agreed-upon time. "I believe I can help you. wrote out a check. Creditors were closing in on him. Exactly one year later. With renewed optimism. Whether actually it is there or not doesn't matter. Rockefeller. Rockefeller. he returned to the park with the un cashed check. But just as the executive was about to hand back the check and share his success story." He asked the man his name. The astonished executive just stood there. the old man appeared.” And she led the old man away by the arm. he was out of debt and making money once again. the executive decided to put the un cashed check in his safe. "I hope he hasn't been bothering you. He closed several big sales. he negotiated better deals and extended terms of payment. real or imagined.

. the young man awaited signs that his father had purchased the car. leaving the holy book. Angrily. those having 5 potatoes also had to carry heavier bags. The stench of hatred will contaminate your heart and you will carry it with you wherever you go. For many months he had admired a beautiful sports car in a dealer's showroom. After 1 week." Touching life story. So when the day came. As Graduation Day approached.. leather-bound Bible. Besides. and told him how much he loved him. he raised his voice at his father and said. Some had 2 potatoes. He had a beautiful home and wonderful family. His father told him how proud he was to have such a fine son. Curious. Then the teacher told them the hidden meaning behind the game.will put in his/her plastic bag will depend on the number of people he/she hates.. Days after days passed by. and thought perhaps he should go to him. and knowing his father could well afford it. The teacher said: "This is exactly the situation when you carry your hatred for somebody inside your heart. and willed all of his possessions to his son. The teacher then told the children to carry with them the potatoes in the plastic bag wherever they go (even to the toilet) for 1 week. sudden sadness and regret filled his heart. If you cannot tolerate the smell of rotten potatoes for just 1 week. Finally. some 3 while some up to 5 potatoes. Forgiving others is the best attitude to take. . and the children started to complain due to the unpleasant smell let out by the rotten potatoes. but somewhat disappointed the young man opened the box and found a lovely.. He handed his son a beautiful wrapped gift box. the children were relieved because the game had finally ended. "Learn to Forgive and Forget. A young man was getting ready to graduate college. Before he could make arrangements. When he arrived at his father's house. but realized his father was very old. The teacher asked: "How did you feel while carrying the potatoes with you for 1 week?" The children let out their frustrations and started complaining of the trouble that they had to go through having to carry the heavy and smelly potatoes wherever they go. He needed to come home immediately and take care things. he received a telegram telling him his father had passed away. can you imagine what is it like to have the stench of hatred in your heart for your lifetime?" Moral of the Story: Throw away any hatred for anyone from your heart so that you will not carry sins for a lifetime. "With all your money you give me a Bible?" and stormed out of the house. Many years passed and the young man was very successful in business. on the morning of his graduation his father called him into his private study. he told him that was all he wanted. every child brought some potatoes with the name of the people he/she hated. He had not seen him since that graduation day.

and then added. he opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. How many times do we miss God's blessings because they are not packaged as we expected? The Seven Wonders of the World Junior high school students in Chicago were studying the Seven Wonders of the World.. 6. and to love. "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are: 1. May this story serve as a gentle reminder to all of us that the things we overlook as simple and ordinary are often the most wonderful . 2. to taste. a quiet girl. Though there was some disagreement. The Panama Canal 5. 3.. It had a tag with the dealer's name. 4. The quiet girl replied. China's Great Wall While gathering the votes. the same dealer who had the sports car he had desired... then read." The teacher said. As he read those words. Egypt's Great Pyramids 2. to see.. At the end of the lesson. On the tag was the date of his graduation. to feel. a little. The Grand Canyon in Arizona 4. The Taj Mahal in India 3. Enjoy your gifts! . St. and maybe we can help.. "Yes. Peter's Basilica 7. to laugh. you could have heard a pin drop. to touch. the following received the most votes: 1. just as he had left it years ago.He began to search his father's important papers and saw the still new Bible.. to hear. the teacher noted that one student..." The girl hesitated..and we don't have to travel anywhere special to experience them.. (She hesitated a little. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. "Well.. 7. tell us what you have. the students were asked to list what they considered to be the Seven Wonders of the World.. The room was so quiet.) 5.. The Empire State Building 6. a car key dropped from an envelope taped behind the Bible. hadn't turned in her paper yet. and the words.PAID IN FULL.. With tears. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many..

About a week after his death. I would like to share with all of you." Her eyes beginning to water. these things are the 'stuff' of life. or walk on the beach at sunset. life is not measured by the number of breaths we take. "Please look for these things. I'm coming home. or it could be the sound of the breeze slightly rustling the leaves in the trees. Another one… A story is told about a soldier who was finally coming home after having fought in Vietnam. a thought that is unrelated to class. The little things we are put here on earth to enjoy. I have a friend I'd like to bring home with me." . . I noticed more things on my way home from school than I had that whole semester.A Story worth Reading . That afternoon. It doesn't have to be something you see. None of us knows when this fantastic experience will end. Stop off on the way home tonight to get a double dip ice cream cone. but by the moments that take our breath away. and cherish them." they replied. appreciate and give of ourselves. find something beautiful to notice." "Sure. Go barefoot. He called his parents from San Francisco. It can be taken away at any moment. but the things we didn't do. "Class is over. Perhaps this is the Powers way of telling us that we must make the most out of every single day. is not the things we did that we often regret. "Mom and Dad. share. "Each of us is put here on earth to learn. it could be a scent. I think of that teacher and remember what an impression she made on all of us. For. . and I try to appreciate all of those things that sometimes we all overlook. As the late afternoon sunlight came streaming in through the classroom windows and the class was nearly over. she paused and said. "So I would like you all to make me a promise. We all picked up our books and filed out of the room silently. she went on. but which I feel is very important. "we'd love to meet him. For as we get older. perhaps of freshly baked bread wafting out of someone's house. The things we often take for granted. Take notice of something special you see on your lunch hour today. but I've a favor to ask. or on your way home. We must make it important to notice them. Remember." The class was completely quiet. love. she moved a few things aside on the edge of her desk and sat down there. From now on. for at anytime it can all be taken away. With a gentle look of reflection on her face. on your way to school. Every once in a while. I had a very special teacher in high school many years ago whose husband died suddenly of a heart attack. or the way the morning light catches one autumn leaf as it falls gently to the ground. although it may sound trite to some. she shared some of her insight with a classroom of students.

300?" The father was furious. with his head down." "Son. He has nowhere else to go. or smart as we are. they were told. then march yourself to your room and go to bed. what it is?" Son: "Dad. Their son had died after falling from a building. "he was hurt pretty badly in the fighting. We find it easy to love those who are goodlooking or fun to have around. The parents in this story are like many of us. and I want him to come live with us. The police believed it was suicide. son. Looking up. "if the only reason you asked that is so you can borrow some money to buy a silly toy or other nonsense. Someone who loves us with an unconditional love that welcomes us into the forever family. We would rather stay away from people who aren't as healthy." "No. "Dad. beautiful. he said. I think you should just come home and forget about this guy. He'll find a way to live on his own. "you don't know what you're asking. Thankfully. how much do you make an hour?" Daddy: "I make Rs. their son had only one arm and one leg. the little boy replied. Please tell me." said the father." At that point. but we don't like people who inconvenience us or make us feel uncomfortable." "I'm sorry to hear that. however. but to their horror they also discovered something they didn't know. the son hung up the phone. how much do you make an hour" Daddy: "That's none of your business. Maybe we can help him find somewhere to live. and we can't let something like this interfere with our lives. they received a call from the San Francisco police. there's someone who won't treat us that way. Someone with such a handicap would be a terrible burden on us. may I ask you a question" Daddy: "Yeah sure. 500 an hour" "Oh". The grief-stricken parents flew to San Francisco and were taken to the city morgue to identify the body of their son. A few days later. Mom and Dad. may I please borrow Rs. They recognized him. Why do you ask such a thing?" Son: "I just want to know."There's something you should know the son continued. What do we work for ?? Son: "Daddy. The parents heard nothing more from him. . We have our own lives to live. He stepped on a land mind and lost an arm and a leg. regardless of how messed up we are. I want him to live with us.

the man had calmed down. may be I was too hard on you earlier". Here's the Rs. reaching under his pillow he pulled some crippled up notes...300 you asked for" The little boy sat straight up. "I've been thinking. "It takes a minute to have a crush an hour to like someone and a day to love someone but it takes a lifetime to forget someone" Be in touch. Have a nice day. we pour ourselves more into work than to our family. 500 now." replied the boy. I would like to have dinner with you" MORAL OF THE STORY It's just a short reminder to all of you working so hard in life.. started to get angry again. "Are you asleep. said the man. smiling "oh thank you dad!" He yelled. 300 and he really didn't ask for money very often!" The man went to the door of little boy's room and opened the door. "No daddy. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow.Think why you are being so selfish. But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives. "Why do you want money if you already had some?" the father grumbled. We should not let time slip through our fingers without having spent some time with those who really matter to us. those close to our hearts. And come to think of it.. son?" He asked. "It's been a long day and I took out my aggravation on you. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. The little boy slowly counted out his money. The man. I'm awake. seeing that the boy already had money. If we die tomorrow. then looked up at his father. but now I do. the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days." the little boy replied. . How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so. "Daddy I have Rs. and started to think: "May be there was something he really needed to buy with that Rs. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior" The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. "Because I didn't have enough. Then.

turned it around. Prepare for the future without fear. That afternoon the man who had changed the sign came to see how things were. if you want to travel without fear.. The second sign told people they were so lucky that they were not blind. Invite others towards good with wisdom. He held up a sign which said: "I am blind. A man was walking by. The boy recognized his footsteps and asked. knowing that you are the reason behind it!! Amazing Story: Monica married Hitesh this day." The most beautiful thing is to see a person smiling… And even more beautiful is. "I only wrote the truth. Mother: 'Monica. Be creative. When life gives you a 100 reasons to cry.1000 deposit amount. Be innovative. "Were you the one who changed my sign this morning? What did you write?" The man said. Monica's mother gave her a newly opened bank saving passbook. Think differently and positively. He put the sign back so that everyone who walked by would see the new words. Soon the hat began to fill up. A blind boy sat on the steps of a building with a hat by his feet. of discarding evil and developing goodness…. take this passbook. Great men say. show life that you have 1000 reasons to smile. He then took the sign. . Should we be surprised that the second sign was more effective? Moral of the Story: Be thankful for what you have. put some money in." What he had written was: "Today is a beautiful day and I cannot see it. Face your past without regret. A lot more people were giving money to the blind boy. In the journey of life. When there's something happy and memorable happened in your new life. Keep it as a record of your marriage life." There were only a few coins in the hat. At the end of the wedding party. With Rs. I said what you said but in a different way. But the first sign simply said the boy was blind.A small thought…. "Life has to be an incessant process of repair and reconstruction. Live life with no excuse and love with no regrets. Handle your present with confidence." Do you think the first sign and the second sign were saying the same thing? Of course both signs told people the boy was blind. Keep the faith and drop the fear. and wrote some words. you must have the ticket of a good conscience. He took a few coins from his pocket and dropped them into the hat. please help. Write down what it's about next to the line.

. However. Monica got pregnant . Hitesh got promoted... the more money you can put in. first birthday celebration for Hitesh after marriage . girl. and so on.. no more love. They regretted that they had married the most nasty people in the world.15 Apr: Rs. Remember the saving passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend it first.Kind of typical nowadays.. . Do the others with Hitesh. that's no big deal...2000..' Monica thought it was true. they started fighting and arguing for trivial things. salary raise for Monica . I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy!!!' Mother: 'Sure. But before that.' Monica shared this with Hitesh when getting home..The more memorable the event is. Just do whatever you want if you really can't stand it.200.. after years. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage. I've done the first one for you today. we can't stand it anymore. This was what they did after certain time: . vacation trip to Bali . They didn't talk much.20 Mar: Rs.. We agree to divorce.. They both thought it was a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit can be made.1 Mar: Rs.1000. do one thing first. you can know how much happiness you've had.100. When you look back after years.300.7 Feb: Rs. huh? One day Monica talked to her Mother: 'Mom.1 Jun: Rs.

I believe the money did not matter anymore after they had gone thru all the good years in their life. She looked. she handed the passbook to Hitesh. putting the passbook back to the safe. Don't see the place where you fell.So she went to the bank. Do you know how much money they had saved when they retired? I did not ask. And a line next to the record: 'This is the day I notice how much I've loved you thru out all these years. While she was waiting. asked him to spend the money before getting divorce. Then the memory of all the previous joy and happiness just came up her mind. and looked. Hitesh gave the passbook back to Monica. Instead see the place from where you slipped. and looked. Her eyes were then filled with tears. Life is about correcting mistakes . The next day. she took a look at the passbook record.5000. When she was home. "When you fall. waiting at the queue and planning to cancel the account.' They hugged and cried. in any way. She left and went home. She found a new deposit of Rs. How much happiness you've brought me.

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