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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

COMFORT–A RARE COMMODITY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

but now I do.. "Are you asleep. "Because I didn't have enough. "Why do you want money if you already had some?" the father grumbled. "It takes a minute to have a crush an hour to like someone and a day to love someone but it takes a lifetime to forget someone" Be in touch. reaching under his pillow he pulled some crippled up notes. then looked up at his father. the company that we are working for could easily replace us in a matter of days.. I work hard everyday for such this childish behavior" The little boy quietly went to his room and shut the door. started to get angry again. How dare he ask such questions only to get some money? After about an hour or so. . son?" He asked. The little boy slowly counted out his money. those close to our hearts. we pour ourselves more into work than to our family. 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." the little boy replied. seeing that the boy already had money. "I've been thinking. 500 now.. Here's the Rs. said the man." replied the boy. 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. I'm awake. may be I was too hard on you earlier". But the family & friends we leave behind will feel the loss for the rest of their lives.300 you asked for" The little boy sat straight up. and started to think: "May be there was something he really needed to buy with that Rs.Think why you are being so selfish. Have a nice day. And come to think of it. Can I buy an hour of your time? Please come home early tomorrow. The man. If we die tomorrow. the man had calmed down. "No daddy. Then. 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. The man sat down and started to get even angrier about the little boy's questions. smiling "oh thank you dad!" He yelled. "Daddy I have Rs..

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

. and so on.' Monica shared this with Hitesh when getting home.Kind of typical nowadays. When you look back after years. first birthday celebration for Hitesh after marriage . no more love. after years. We agree to divorce. that's no big deal. I've done the first one for you today....15 Apr: Rs.. you can know how much happiness you've had. the more money you can put in.' Monica thought it was true.1 Jun: Rs. vacation trip to Bali . salary raise for Monica .. They regretted that they had married the most nasty people in the world. Remember the saving passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend it first.. Hitesh got promoted.. they started fighting and arguing for trivial things. . Monica got pregnant . This was what they did after certain time: . But before that. girl.300.1 Mar: Rs. Just do whatever you want if you really can't stand it. Do the others with Hitesh. do one thing first. They didn't talk much.20 Mar: Rs. However.100... we can't stand it anymore.7 Feb: Rs. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage. huh? One day Monica talked to her Mother: 'Mom.1000.The more memorable the event is.2000. They both thought it was a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit can be made... I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy!!!' Mother: 'Sure.200.

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

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