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Short Stories

Short Stories

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Published by: bhatiars on Oct 10, 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. Here is a list of Toxic Vocabulary words. Should Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen (and implies guilt. But: Negates any words that are stated before it. If: Presupposes that you may not. 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. Might: It does nothing definite.) Could Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen but the person tries to take credit as if it did happen. Usage of negative words has a toxic effect. 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. Notice when you or other people use them. Please spread the positivity! . Can't/Don't: These words force the listener to focus on exactly the opposite of what you want. This is a classic mistake that parents and coaches make without knowing the damage of this linguistic error. It leaves options for your listener Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen." Likely result: Watches more television. Try: Presupposes failure. Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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