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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Try: Presupposes failure.eight-year-old brain instantly had an internal image of me hanging on tightly. 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." Likely result: Watches more television. Notice when you or other people use 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. It leaves options for your listener Would Have: Past tense that draws attention to things that didn't actually happen. Please spread the positivity! . 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. But: Negates any words that are stated before it. If: Presupposes that you may not. Write these phrases down so you will begin to catch yourself as they occur and change them. Better language: "I read too much television makes people stupid. Might: It does nothing definite. Usage of negative words has a toxic effect. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

we can't stand it anymore. salary raise for Monica .. huh? One day Monica talked to her Mother: 'Mom.. no more love.200.. the more money you can put in. Hitesh got promoted. They both thought it was a great idea and were anxious to know when the second deposit can be made.2000. Remember the saving passbook I gave you on your wedding day? Take out all money and spend it first. and so on.7 Feb: Rs. first birthday celebration for Hitesh after marriage .100.20 Mar: Rs...' Monica thought it was true. They regretted that they had married the most nasty people in the world. I can't imagine how I decided to marry this guy!!!' Mother: 'Sure.The more memorable the event is.' Monica shared this with Hitesh when getting home. You shouldn't keep any record of such a poor marriage..Kind of typical nowadays.15 Apr: Rs.. This was what they did after certain time: . I've done the first one for you today. But before that. They didn't talk much.. they started fighting and arguing for trivial things. vacation trip to Bali . We agree to divorce.. Just do whatever you want if you really can't stand it. after years.300.1 Jun: Rs. However. you can know how much happiness you've had. Monica got pregnant .. that's no big deal.1 Mar: Rs. Do the others with Hitesh. girl... When you look back after years.1000. do one thing first. .

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

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