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Short Stories

Short Stories

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Publicado porRamandeep Bhatia

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Published by: Ramandeep Bhatia on Oct 25, 2010
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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.


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.

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

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

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

so how can I be? He sees through the mistakes I make. “Ahmed. howsoever well qualified you may be. use it to introspect and improve yourself. to the best of our ability. Rawatji listened quietly in a corner. I believe you lost father when you were young. you shall bring them for a holiday to Singapore!” What a beautiful thought! Our parents give us their best. Nirmal kare subhaye!! This means. keep a critic tucked away in the courtyard of your house. experience and values. He groomed me the way my father would have. it is our duty to give them our best. Rawatji managed everything passionately as if it were his own. All they do is massage your ego! . experience and values that are at the root of all good decisions. Father And Mother I Love You! POSITIVE CRITICISM Rawatji was the eighty years old clerk in the office of Ahmed.promise me. Pobody’s Nerfect. Father passed away when I was only eighteen. the client sat with Ahmed in an easy mood. “Ahmed. who else can I turn to but Rawatji? Even Baba says. I wouldn’t allow anyone to use that tone with me. Fifteen years ago. authoritative voice. He has an uncanny sixth sense. They were tabulating the terms of the new agreement for the purchase of steel for the new plant. And for commonsense. in business. This amount is ridiculous. I mean. to the best of their ability. sabun bina. that when you are all grown up and your parents are old. FAMILY means. The meeting being over. Go over it again. Who was that old man and why did you allow him to speak to you like that? As the head of the organization. “Age should think and Youth should do. Suddenly he said in a stern. It is only when you are able to identify your faults and acknowledge them that you can do something to improve yourself. Besides. He is my mentor. At this age. you can see your picture as the other guy sees it. “My father had started this business house with Rawatji as his clerk.” Ahmed paused for a moment and then said. In turn. Nobody’s Perfect. One day a client was sitting in a meeting with Ahmed. He said. “Who is that old man? Tell him to mind his own business. Yes.” The learned Fakir Kabir said. he attends office everyday.” The client raised his eye brows and said. angan kuti chhawye! Bin pani. but it is good old commonsense. 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. everyone better know it!” Ahmed said. You know. you are miscalculating the overheads. Take criticism in a positive light. Ahmed was the head of a reputed business organization. he even stopped taking his salary. “He is my father!” Ahmed looked into the detail of the calculation and realized that his junior staff had indeed made a mistake. his experience far outweighs ours. He is my worst critic and yet my best friend. Nindak neare rakhiye. Steer clear of flatterers. When I am the boss.

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

After much contemplation they decided to buy it. The sex of the child was very secondary. Let's not overlook them and start valuing them. He silently sent a blessing to the salesman who had reminded him to buy what he had tagged. THE NIGHT LIGHT An old couple was building a small house for themselves. it is with the small things in life that make the path of our life comfortable and pleasant. you have not taken a look at our range of 'the most important light' for your house. It was made of crystal and had candle bulbs in it. As the old man was about to sign the cheque for the total amount. We just need to understand that this is the greatest wealth that God could bestow upon us and so. All their lives they had spent on their children's upbringing. we should value it and put it to good use. They indulged themselves with a lovely set of bed side lamps for their bedroom. the salesman said. love. laughter. the lady switched on the night light. Finally every thing was finalized and the order was placed. 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. The salesman showed them a lovely chandelier for the drawing room. kindness.” The old man raised his eyebrows. lest we have to regret in retrospect for missing out on them. sacrifice etc. So. so they decided to build a small cottage for themselves. When the house was ready. At midnight the old man woke to answer nature's call. They then proceeded with the porch lights and the garden lights. They are insignificant and inexpensive. is not achieving all that you dreamt of. A normal healthy child is all she asked for.In a society obsessed with male progeny. One bright sunny day they set out to buy light fittings for their dream house. But it was expensive. Well. Soon they slept. this was a great attitude. “Sir. all of us who are lucky to be blessed with normal healthy bodies are indeed wealthy. empathy. Now they had discharged all their liabilities. Contentment they say. it is valuing and appreciating the things you already have. they selected a simple and inexpensive one and made their way home. but they are the most important things in our lives. They selected some simple fittings for the kitchen and the bathrooms. as the salesman led him to a corner where there was a delightful array of night lights. yet most significant and valuable. They are family. As they were about to settle down into their cosy bed for the night. 'the most important light. In fact the most important things in our lives are not actually 'things'. Your family and friends are like the night light that provides light when all other lights are off! . They cost precious little. they moved in. It was delicate and beautiful.' So too.

It was a very cold day. pastries and cheese puffs.GOOD HEALTH There was a king called Sheelbhadra. They ate mostly wild fruits and berries. he saw from close quarters. The Vaidya went on. Where is there room for any illness to creep in?” What a profound statement! Living close to nature. the Vaidya was put up in the Ashram. En route they stopped at many temples. the hard life style of the residents of the ashram. They filled a bucket each and set them near the hermitage. they got back. They then went to collect fire wood. Our rooms are cooled by the breeze of trees we have planted all around. The king offered his prayers at each of the temples. eating simple food and working hard are the three legs of the tripod of good health.” The sage smiled. One day the Vaidya got fed up of his idleness and said. We use gadgets to execute all the menial jobs around us. so they thought that they would heat some water for bathing. Please ask the King to relieve me of my services. I am fed up of sitting idle all the time. One of the Sadhus ran forward to scare it away. After collecting some dried wood. Accordingly. They found the hermitage of a sage. “Let me tell you the mantra of our good health. We work hard from dawn to dusk. “Tell me. They lived simply. The air was cool and clean. During his stay at the ashram. not live to eat. He said that he would provide for a monthly sum to be paid as salary to the Vaidya. The tiny bird flew away. The king recovered in a couple of days. They stopped over for the night. They bathed in the stream. We eat frugally because we eat to live. the king's party looked around for a place to spend the night. “Hush! Hush!” he cried out. A little sparrow was sitting on the edge of one of the buckets. They had left behind their families to meditate and free themselves from worldly attachments. two of the Sadhus went to the stream to fetch water. 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. The sage's people brought a Vaidya (Ayurvedic doctor) to attend to the King. he asked the sage to keep the Vaidya there on a permanent basis. Some days passed like this. Most importantly. 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. . During the night the king became sick. All of us here wake up at the break of day. They slept on jute mats on the floor. “Oh sage! I really don't think that I am needed here. pakoras and rasmalais. In today's world we want to satisfy our taste buds with pizzas and burgers. they spent most of their time in meditation. Some young sadhus lived there. They brought water from the nearby stream to cook. One day. The Vaidya had to sit idle all the time because no body seemed to fall sick there. but when it comes to eating. To express his gratitude. This place has fresh air and sunlight. One evening as dusk fell. wash and clean the hermitage. her beak was in the water. Months passed. He along with a number of ministers and courtiers was on a pilgrimage.

“Wait a minute that was my bucket. it is mine. was able to physically lift the other one and throw him further. "Well. the first Sadhu reached out to pick up the bucket that had not been touched by the sparrow. then how is it that my words of prayer would not reach the Lord who is omnipresent?" . "Panditji. what proof do you have that this so called God of yours.” “I put mine. That one is yours. if you are sure that my words of abuse could penetrate through closed doors and windows. but let me ask you something first. "She sleeps with her doors and windows tightly shut. Why don't you just wind up your talk now? Enough is enough. how much water could the sparrow possibly have drunk. 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.” The argument went on. Who knows what reaches God? You are just wasting our time. had the water become impure due to the sparrow's touch? It was drawn from the stream. All wild birds and animals would be drinking from it all the time! Thirdly. "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." he shrieked. the water was going to be used for just bathing.When they reached the buckets. she does. "Then do you think she would have heard my abuses?" "Of course she would have and I'm going to kill you for that.” “Why should I leave it. till they caught hold of each other's neck. All the water spilled out! Let us look at this objectively Firstly. isn't it?" "Yes. got up and said rudely. A young man. The fellow continued to interrupt and disturb the session. called Gopa. to reach your mother. Does your mother sleep with her doors and windows closed?" Gopa looked at him angrily and said." That was the last straw. the Preacher raised his voice and said. Hold your tongue or I'll kill you. "Of course she does! But how does that concern you? The Preacher repeated. listens to our prayers? These are all a means of earning for you Brahmins. on this side.” “Of course not. that one is mine. 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. "Kill me if you must." shouted Gopa. When he did it for the fifth time. The other sage said. They had a scuffle and one of the sadhus. being more able bodied. Leave my bucket alone." The Preacher asked the youngster to sit down and meet him later after the session was over. "Keep my mother out of this. Gopa sprang up to the stage and caught the Preacher by the neck and said." Then Panditji said.

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

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

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

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

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. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them. But: Negates any words that are stated before it. Can't/Don't: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. Might: It does nothing definite. 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. Notice when you or other people use them. If: Presupposes that you may not. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error. Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt. Usage of negative words has a toxic effect. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words." Likely result: Watches more television. Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid.) 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. It leaves options for your listener Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen. Please spread the positivity! . Try: Presupposes failure.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The house rent was grossly overdue. 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.. Suddenly she said. Thy will be done. provided she could move into a residence at the hostel premises.” She cried herself to sleep. 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. if you continue to worry about them. in a women’s garments store and asked a relative to put in a word for her. she would definitely throw up. hollow words. “It may not be a ‘thing’.” A week later Marina applied for a job as a salesgirl. “See that you . 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.. will you grant me a wish?” Father grabbed the opportunity to resolve the situation and said quickly. She was offered the job.” The girl put a spoonful of jackfruit into her mouth and made a face as if she was tasting poison. so he watched in silence. She cried her heart out and prayed.. But.. Marina broke down. He does not take over. Just finish it fast and tell me what you want. “Actually Marina. She walked into the interview room with the confidence that stems only from God’s presence in you. The friend said. the owner is my friend no doubt. “Yes honey. Mother was equally adamant.” The girl said. I would have spoken to the Principal for you. Grandma looked disgusted at the attitude of the mother. if I eat it. but you are really not the type. meaningless endearments and lame excuses. but she is just not the obliging type.” This went on. “Okay. The mother said.” When at last you realize that God is all you have left. With one stroke. “You see Marina.. To surrender means. I’ll get it for you. The poor child looked at the revolting mass in her plate and felt that if she ate it. Today’s menu for lunch was jackfruit and curd with Roti. I’ve given you my promise. It may be something else. She refused to eat the jackfruit. Now gobble it up. “Lord.. Marina requested one of these friends to help her get a job as a receptionist at a local school.” Father said. The tension was unnerving. all her problems were solved! It is only God who stands by His words. to turn your thoughts away from all your problems and leave everything into His hands saying. “Don’t worry. but if there is anything else. I mean.A month later. “Oh God! Why did you do this to us? How shall I tend to my children? Please help me for I am absolutely alone. The school provided free education to the wards of their employees! The school mess would also provide free meals to her wards and herself. you have to have a certain personality to look after such a job. whatever you say. The next instalment for the school fees of her children was due in a fortnight. In her dream she saw God smiling at her and blessing her. when He asks you to surrender your problems to Him and forget about them. 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. Her expenses seemed to soar whereas her resources dwindled. I’m always willing to help. The little girl had her eyes and her plate full. they really won’t listen to anyone. for the warden was supposed to be present all day. Till one night.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy!!!' Mother: 'Sure. They didn't talk much.1 Jun: Rs.' Monica shared this with Hitesh when getting home.. huh? One day Monica talked to her Mother: 'Mom. But before that.. girl. Hitesh got promoted. Monica got pregnant .100. they started fighting and arguing for trivial things. . They both thought it was a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit can be made. first birthday celebration for Hitesh after marriage ..200. We agree to divorce..Kind of typical nowadays..20 Mar: Rs.2000. and so on. Remember the saving passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend it first. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage. I've done the first one for you today. you can know how much happiness you've had. Just do whatever you want if you really can't stand it...1 Mar: Rs. we can't stand it anymore.The more memorable the event is.. When you look back after years. the more money you can put in. vacation trip to Bali . no more love.1000.300. after years.7 Feb: Rs... They regretted that they had married the most nasty people in the world.15 Apr: Rs. However. Do the others with Hitesh.. This was what they did after certain time: .' Monica thought it was true. salary raise for Monica . that's no big deal. do one thing first..

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

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