Saturday, August 20, 2011

The Day I Became My Mother In Law


       My mother-in-law was a person of only basic education, just passed away recently at the age of 90. When I became her daughter-in-law, I came to know her more intimately. She was a person, who was very down-to-earth, not aware of the vices and corruption of the society, very straight forward and above all loving to me.

       She didn’t know to walk properly when she went to church or to visit her kids after their marriage and so somebody accompanied her and always, she was scolded for not looking and walking. For me, I am lazy at walking, so I didn’t have the opportunity to walk with her. She didn’t go for shopping, everything is bought for her. As she was not allowed to go or no money was given to her for safe keeping. She doesn’t have many needs.

The one and only worst experience I have had with her was, one fine evening, while I was in the kitchen, she started scolding me, even now I don’t know, why she did it. Because after some weeks, I asked her why she was angry, she forgot about the reason, but from that day forward one thing was sure, she really wanted to be with her eldest son, whom she loved dearly. When with him, we can feel her love emanating for her child. But she was forced to stay with us. Anyway, I wanted to say, how innocent she was.

       I really loved her because I felt she was totally alone. She didn’t say it out loud or anything. All shouted at her for small small reasons, a reason, which I felt was unjustifiable. When my husband shouts her, I felt odd. I used to say to him, “Look, she is your mother; you cannot talk to her that way?” But you know, nothing goes to anybody’s head. She was scolded by one and all children, only her daughter-in-laws and son-in-laws behaved to her with respect by not shouting at her. Everybody had only bad things to say about her. Not a single good thing was said about her.

       Thus in heart I loved her, she used to open up like, once in a blue moon and at that time I could glimpse her hurts and the humiliations she had to suffer from her husband’ s and kid’s hand. I couldn’t tolerate it. It was simply abominable. I used to cry with her. But she didn’t have even a tear to shed because she had turned to stone within herself – an entity who cannot be hurt. She didn’t are what everyone said. She didn’t even exert herself, to make them happy. She just lived.

       So before her departure to her heavenly abode she opened up her past, it was so gory, that she remembered only her past and nothing about the present. There were lots of funny instances too, but that couldn’t erase the worst experiences. Then after two months she passed away, leaving behind her kids and their family who hurt her really really terribly.

       I thought when my husband shouted at me, just two days after marriage, it was just marital bickering. But my father was not like that to my mother, I haven’t heard anything of that sort, like shouting or scolding. So it was actually like a bucket of ice cold water splashed on my face.
I came to the real world from my dreamy clouds. But that reality was too bitter to savour. But life should go on and it went. But when one fine morning, when my kids too started shouting at me, I knew how my mother-in-law felt. I felt I’m going to live a life of stony existence, where I don’t feel anything and when I am manhandled with words and muscles. I tried to just unfeel myself, but I am who I am. I started becoming like a stone statue, because I started feeling, that my family is not worthy of me. But still I tried to stay there, but the shouting spree from all corners started to flow incessantly and I responded – by my absence.

With Love

Meena

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Why Work?

          The answer might be different for different people. But mostly its for survival, isn’t it? But I would like to add something to it. My parents had their own respective jobs and they planned and executed their money but I have felt that they were different when they go for work and when they arrive another different person totally.
          Work is a necessity, it’s a part of our daily existence. It should be the extension of your person. Just like the hand is part of your body or the leg or the eye, your work should be the extension of you with which you are comfortable. I have seen lots of people who are so excited to go to work and who do not earn a lot with it. But their happiness is what makes them successful. They are invincible in their own field of work. And in the end they are the masters of their trade and ultimately they become successful, financially too.
          If you feel that the profession you have selected is not to your liking, then you become a waste to yourself, to the family and the society because without you being aware  of it, you become a nuisance. You become a burden, a hazard. You won’t be successful in life. But if you are forced to be in a work you don’t like, change your attitude towards the job at hand, just like the job, tell your mind. I know you don’t like this job, but for a change, we both are going to love it. Then learn the trade. Do it wholeheartedly, with love and make sure that you are going to help as much people as you can with your work and see their faces. Then you know, that you are in the right track.
          Dr. Abdul Kalam, he is a famous scientist and former president of India. He wanted to become a pilot but he didn’t get into it and then he was deviated into another job, he could have hated it, but he made sure that he loved the job he had in hand and worked harder and harder to help mankind and now you know where he is. He is famous, rich and loved by one and all. So you should have an attitude to be a change. We all are brought up to have an ambition in life but if we lose on it, then we become losers. But I would say, work shouldn’t dictate whether you should be losers or winners, your attitude does. Its not the job but your attitude is what you should look into.
          Cultivate an attitude, that you are going to become successful in life. Now – a – days parents are giving the meaning of successful as money, car, bungalow and status and they look for their children successful job oriented courses, where money comes in abundance. When the child is born,  doctor and engineer professions were in, so they planned to make their child a doctor or an engineer. Then when she started her high school, nursing abroad became much more lucrative and when she finished high school, IT gained more prominence. But the fact is, they forget what the child needs. If the parents always, speak about money and to amass wealth, naturally, the child’s attitude also directs only in amassing wealth and in the end, they would throw their parents for wealth. Let not that happen. We all know life is a race but not for kids, they should grow with love, humility and service mentality. Only then their work will become a service to himself and to the society. Races are for sprinters, horses and for people who are chased by dogs.
          Work is for the fulfilment of our craving for happiness. We all know, the idle mind is the workshop of the devil, it would be advisable to work, whether at home or in the office. Its a favour you are doing to yourself and others. Just imagine if mother stops working, we would all be in a fix. One day is OK but everyday? We might think, mother is not going to work. She is at home always. She doesn’t have to do any work. How easy it is for her. But I have felt that mothers are more worked out than all of us put together. She has to live according to the liking of her in-laws, husband, her children and makes sure she cleans her house, washes clothes, prepares food and above all, she has to hear the shouting, crying, anger and happiness of all the family. But she is there as pillar of strength, which we are not aware of unless its too late. If a person, without going out can do so much for the family, then imagine, with your work how many people can be affected. So please consider that your work is a service to the society, which you are entitled to do without the greed of the money. And do it with a smile and cherish all the experience you can amass, you are worthy of it.
Meena

Independence Day of India

"The Free Man Is He Who Does Not Fear To Go The End Of His Thought"
            As we go back to the day on 14th August midnight of the year 1947, we can feel how the nation stood standstill when Jawaharlal Nehru gave his speech to the people which is famous for its simplicity loaded with patriotism and the excitement to break the news to the people who had a major role to play  – the Freedom Struggle of India. The emotion of India was of expectancy and the words uttered by Nehru was so befitting that even now, we feel the strength and power of the words which he uttered solely for the Indians, which, I feel has to be addressed once more as India is going to celebrate her 65th Independence Day, due to its great significance in today’s society.

I would really like to show you some of the excerpts of Nehru’s “Tryst With Destiny” speech of that day,   Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially. At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom. A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, when an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance. It is fitting that at this solemn moment, we take the pledge of dedication to the service of India and her people and to the still larger cause of humanity.
            The ambition of the greatest men of our generation has been to wipe every tear from every eye. That may be beyond us, but so long as there are tears and suffering, so long our work will not be over. And so we have to labour and to work, and work hard, to give reality to our dreams. Those dreams are for India, but they are also for the world, for all the nations and peoples are too closely knit together today for any one of them to imagine that it can live apart. Peace has been said to be indivisible; so is freedom, so is prosperity now, and so also is disaster in this One World that can no longer be split into isolated fragments.
            The future beckons to us. Whither do we go and what shall be our endeavour? To bring freedom and opportunity to the common man, to the peasants and workers of India; to fight and end poverty and ignorance and disease; to build up a prosperous, democratic and progressive nation, and to create social, economic and political institutions which will ensure justice and fullness of life to every man and woman. We have hard work ahead. There is no resting for any one of us till we redeem our pledge in full, till we make all the people of India what destiny intended them to be. We are citizens of a great country on the verge of bold advance, and we have to live up to that high standard. All of us, to whatever religion we may belong, are equally the children of India with equal rights, privileges and obligations.
            Reading this speech, we all know we have really failed the patriots who shed their blood for us, who with not a thought of their life gave it to the nation, so that we could live peacefully, have the freedom, that they were denied. They were courageous to stand up against the vices meted towards their fellow country men. Though many great Indian leaders had the luxuries and freedom of everything, they denied it  and came out of the cocoon of their pampered life and voiced their displeasure against the atrocities meted to the common man. It was with their strength and support that the common man of India stood up.
            We all know, that India was not short of courageous young men. We are their sons and daughters. Even now, we have the power in us to voice our displeasure against the vices like communalism, corruption, gender inequality, dowry system,  terrorism, etc.. which we are immersed in. But we are not doing it. Why ? Because of fear? or Is it because it doesn’t affect you? Well you might have lots of reason not to respond but you cannot run away from evil as it would catch you in the long run and strangle you, then it would be too late. So act now.
            We can celebrate any number of Independence Day but if we have to feel the contentment and pride for being an Indian, then we have to come out of the cocoon of sluggishness and respond to the cry of fellow Indians who are being suffocated by several social evils of India. Its high time we pledge and pass on the beacon of light which was passed on by our great patriots of India for posterity - to have a free India and to wipe every tear of its children, so that they may enjoy the fruits of their labour which they gave us by giving their life for the nation. Every blood counts and we have a responsibility to cherish it and keep it alive in the hearts of the Indians. Only then we can celebrate the Independence Day.
This Nation Will Remain The Land Of The Free Only So Long As It Is The Home Of The Braves.
Come On Rise And Shine For The Day Is Yours.
happy independence day
Meena

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Would Suicide Solve Your Problem?

            I hope not. The first time I saw a suicide was when I was in seventh standard. I had gone to my aunt’s house during holidays and one fine morning I heard that a drunkard hanged himself to death on someone else’s tree which jutted towards the road. Well, from that day onwards I just used another way so as to avoid any ghosts of that man. Do you want to know why he did it? Well just get ready for the shock. His wife scolded him for drinking and wasting money. Isn’t it simply ridiculous? His ego was wounded.
            Now hear another suicide story of a 10th class student. She committed suicide by consuming poison immediately after the 10th results were out. She scored 98 percent mark. She has been scoring it from kindergarten. So everyone expected it. It was not a surprise. But her death was a shock. Do you want to know why she died? Just put on your seat belts. “No one congratulated or patted on her back showing appreciation for scoring such high marks. So she died. Isn’t it crazy? Her hard work wasn’t appreciated.
            And all the debt ridden suicides, love failure suicides, ego hurting suicides all have one thing in common. These people are too chicken hearted to face their problems, their failures,  which they have created on their own. Problems are created from the workshop of the devil – the mind.  I would like to say one story about different attitudes of different people for the same thing. Three blind men were walking through the forest and they were stopped by an elephant. All the three started to feel the elephant, one felt the tusk and said, Oh! I think I found a trumpet and the second was feeling the legs  and he said, No, its a tree a huge tree with no branches and the third one felt the stomach of the elephant and he said, “Surely you are not that blind to see that it is a big rough rock?” And anyway, the elephant was not in a mood to tolerate their findings for he swept all three with his trunk and smashed them on the ground, thus met their death. Here we saw that the elephant is not taken as a whole, they justified only the part they saw. The people who are not courage enough to face their problems have one justification that their part was the correct one. They might be, if they saw the whole problem in different angles.
But that doesn’t happen because that is the game of mind side tracking us from the real issue. Then the mind creates a fantasy world where it is not willing to move an inch this way or that.
            The person who commits suicide thinks of only their point of view, they see how much they did for the family. How much hard work they had done to achieve their goal and yet the family don’t appreciate it, nobody understands them. They’re not being loved. But is it true? We cannot expect everyone to appreciate everything. The only thing in life you should learn is “Just Give Wholeheartedly Whatever You Feel Like Giving. Don’t Expect Anything In Return because all are not like you. They are just human beings with lot of limitations. But you know you are a person who is capable of loving, understanding and appreciating your loved ones. Why don’t you do it in abundance? So that they would know, what  difference you make in their life. Then, you would be invincible ally for them. But the ultimate aim is fulfilled. You feel happy. You feel whole.
             I want to say, to all those who want to commit suicide. Its not a bad thing to save yourself from problems by dying, but before that just think after you die, will you be happy? Just imagine after death you would not have anybody to share your problems. You are on your own. Wallowing in self pity because in the eyes of the creator you have done wrong, then how are you going to be happy? We all know that only physical body dies and the soul lives and you have died with all the problems you had when you were alive as a person. So how will you run away from those problems? Now I have only one thing to say, there are solutions for all problems. The only thing is, you should be strong enough to face it and face it you should.
            When I was small, I used to lose my pencil on a daily basis and as per the boarding rule we get only one chance to ask the boarding mistress for stationery and I get scolding from her everyday. Since pencil was a necessity which I can’t forego I just heard it all, lock, stock and barrel. Then when I loose my pencil, I beg from others to lend their pencil and someone steals that too from me. Their firing and they complain to the boarding mistress and her firing all together it was a nightmare. All this happened when I was just four years old. My parents pay a hefty sum to give a good education and these are all part of it. If all these problems were looked upon as problems then I would have hanged a million times. But at that age my attitude was, I didn’t do anything wrong. Someone stole my pencil and I’m not good at finding and in the boarding all are my friends and foes. So it happens and I’ll have to do is, hear the scoldings. Everyone gets scolding for something or the other. For me, it was only for a pencil, so I was far better than other boarders well that’s life and it was cool too.
            In short, life is hard even if it is for a toddler or a youth or an old man because no one gets any special concessions from life. A blacksmith heats  the iron and beats it to shape to get his desired tool and tools. He doesn’t give any special concession for any iron he has in his workshop. That’s the same way for us too. To get the desired result we also have to go through the same fire of circumstances and gets a good beating on our egos to make us the perfect person. So thinking that nobody loves or understands you is the dumbest thing and for that to commit suicide would have very bad consequences after death.
            So please do not run away from your problem and commit suicide. Life is too good to throw away. Just enjoy it and take your problems as a challenge and solve it like a puzzle. You could be a cool person for the rest of us. Best Of Luck.

Meena

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Trees Are Similar To Man

            We all know the importance of trees. Now I think even the kids too are aware of how to cherish a tree. I am not going to that aspect of trees. But I would like to say how similar trees are to a human beings.
            Do you find any similarity between trees and humans? I know you’d shrug. But I too did the same some 12 years back but I accidentally found out. So I’d like to share it with you all about it. Interested?
            Trees are the upside down version of human being. If in yoga I’d say, trees are in Shirshasana (head stand) posture. If you uproot a tree we can see the roots can be compared to the hair of man and from there downwards even to the very body hair of the human body has been developed in the trees as leaves with pores. So now you know how much we are connected to the trees.
            I brought this topic because I want to make you aware of our identity, our importance in this living earth. We all know we cannot replace tree for something else. They are unique. Their power on us came to be known to human beings when life started on this earth. But do you all know the value of human beings on the Earth? Human Beings are far more advanced than the trees but still we do not value ourselves as a very important being. We do not cherish ourselves like we are precious.
            When we are small we do not care about us, our parents look after it and then as we grow and are able to take our stance, we just do whatever ill treatment to our body, to our soul and when we get old we just ruminate our life in hospital bed or death bed, thinking, it would have been better if we were much more careful with ourselves. So I want to say how much you should take care of us with this example of trees.
            Just giving food and whatever you need to the body doesn’t help man to live its life to the full extent. A soul is there for every living being and that is where we get our identity. Find what your soul needs. You might ask, we are not sure of all body parts, then how are we going to find a soul? Well you know it but you are not aware of it. I’ll give you an example of the presence of a soul in you. You are new to a country. And you are asking directions to a place where you have to go and then you reach the place and have come to the cross roads and no one is there around to direct you and you do not know which road to take and you ask your Self(soul), which road? And your Self replies, well we’ll take the left road, then again you ask, are you sure? then your Self replies, well we’ll just try, and then you go. So now you know that you have a soul which we call Self.
            Now about what soul wants, it wants you to make you happy, that too eternal happiness. When you choose a profession, you can’t give your 100%. You are not happy. You feel like just getting out of there. That means, your soul is not with you, in your decision. This is just an example. If our soul feels happy we would feel it immediately. There are times, even though we get lots of things that make us happy, we are sad inside us. For that we run around. So find what makes your soul happy. For that, you will have to spend your time for the soul and that we get the opportunity to meditate means some time to sit and feel your Self. Its not an easy task but if you persist, we would be the happiest person in life.
            I know that these dialogues are Spanish for you all. But I want you to know, if we care the trees, by giving the right amount of nutrition and the right environment, it would produce the best fruits which would be above all fruits. And we would do anything for the tree if we come to know, that it could produce the world’s unique fruits which could be priceless. That context I put it in our case. Talk to your soul, understand it and give great care to your soul. Then you would be priceless. Don’t just brush yourself away. You are precious and priceless for lots of people around you. Just Know It.
Meena

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Do You Really Believe In Life After Death?



            To tell you frankly, I don’t know. But can I say something that would make you think? I first heard about water cycle when I was in  third standard. For me until then I knew only about one cycle and that was bicycle. That was a new information - the cycle of nature. Then later we had to study about the life cycle of butterfly, then the day and night formation due to revolution of earth its own axis, then the year happening due to the rotation of the Earth around the Sun. Its all a cycle. As we look deeper and deeper we find a common rule to all things in nature. So if there is a cycle in everything, then surely after death we would live isn’t it? Our body might get destroyed or annihilated but our being - the soul exists and takes another form. What do you think? Am I right?
            You know, an idle mind is the workshop of the devil, but for me when I’m idle I dream of lots of things or thoughts I start from where I’m sitting and ends it there. Its not purposefully, it just ends there. So next time when you think or dream just look where it ends – near you. That‘s why I said there is a cycle in all things. I’m not a scientist to prove all these but what I see and feel I told.
            So I’m sure we would live again, but do you know what is the criteria in bringing us back to live again? I’ll tell my thought. When I told dream, we have lots of things we would like to have like a new pencil or dress or home or become a king or a queen, etc... As per nature’s law, its said that when you wish for something it has to materialise for you according to the strength of your wish. So until that gets fulfilled our minds just crave for it and in order to fulfil the wishes, we are reborn to fulfil the need we had when we were in our previous life or the lives before.
            Now, that’s crazy isn’t it? I too think the same. Just imagine, how much we might have wished for in a life time. Well its true. We all in science have studied matter is made up of atoms. Some loosely packed like water and some tightly packed like solids and some very very loosely packed like air. And in the Bible we see  that God created the Earth and all that we see around, from nothing just by a WORD and in Hindu scriptures too it states the same with the word called OM. So now you know that with true feeling if we wish we can make it happen. The only thing is that as mere mortals, we do not know to materialise our dreams. If we fulfil our dreams in this life itself I think we can just live in nature as souls instead of human beings with a finite  next life. Or else we can be happy if we don’t wish for anything.
            I know, its odd not to wish for anything. In this tinsel world and now its so glamourous a life that we have truck loads of needs to be fulfilled, at that time, if we think that we can stay out of wishing, then its simply suicidal isn’t it? But as I said, we are capable of anything. Just look at the ascetics, saints and sages who live a life of meagreness knows that fulfilling a want cannot bring happiness and it won’t stop us from craving for more so the best thing to do is consciously put a stop to our want or else we would always be in misery and being reborn for all nonsense wishes too, and that is a fact. We all know it from our daily life. When you do not get what you want then you are sad, if it continues, you’re a sad man for life.
            So just give a THOUGHT before you WISH for something because we might be born to fulfill a silly wish like to conquer the Mt. Everest or to have a double storeyed building in the moon.
Meena

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Do We Have A Destiny?


            Its Destiny! This dialogue usually crops up in all dialogues when something goes wrong or something good happens and especially in India. But one thing I don’t understand is, what is destiny? Is there a Destiny? How does it really control our lives?
            For me I’m not a scientist or a very knowledgeable person about anything, but this destiny business has changed my thoughts a lot. In India especially in Hindu families when a baby is born they have a system to write his birth chart, in which all the details of his birth time, day, star, planet and above all his future would be written by an astrologer. The thing is that some are so precise that the person has to just refer his birth manual to plan what to do but some are just flops. But sometimes I feel that if someone can predict, then there might be some grain of truth in destiny? And most of them are doing it too. In this day and age I feel a bit crazy to write it. But something about destiny cropped up while I was talking with my cousin. This made me think.
            Now if, I am a spiritual person, I’d think that God created me and He has some plans and these plans are my destiny. I’m spiritually inclined and all the paraphernalias of spirituality comes along with it. But according to what I know of God, He is a loving father who wouldn’t want us hurt, in that case we should be always happy, then how come we have lots of problems, sickness, sadness, etc.? As per the scriptures, we get what we give. What we sow we will reap. To be exact, If I am planting a mango tree I get a mango and not a banana. If I do nice things to others, we will get nice things back or else bad things happen. Even Newton’s third law of motion states that “For Every Action There Is An Equal And Opposite Reaction.” That is scientific. So now there is scientific proof for spiritual basis of action and reaction. Then how does these astrologers come to know about our future?
            But even now, I have a strange feeling about astrology. In the Bible there is a part during the birth of Jesus, three Magi (astrologers) came to meet Jesus with gifts. They lost their way and went directly to the king of Judea, Herod. They asked, “Do you know exactly where the King of Kings place of birth?” They came to know about it through the star they saw in the sky on that particular day, it was a significant one and they had known about the prophecy of the birth of the king who would rule over all kings. Jesus life was foretold ages back and that is what we see in the Bible and Jesus just about fulfilled till the last word of what was written. So in a way, its getting a bit scary. If the futures can be foretold, then its sure that our futures has been pre destined isn’t it? So I have proved we have destiny.
            Now I know why the dog barks and the cat mews, its their destiny but one thing’s for sure, if I put them in a place where they don’t have an opportunity to bark and mew, then surely the destiny is changed isn’t it? So how do we change it? Well! we have to find a means to change our destiny.  We should, or else we would be just dogs and cats.
            In my family there is a group destiny,  boys are always superior, they cannot work under anybody, so they start an organization or a firm, so that they are the masters of themselves. They cannot tolerate superiority. But that would be difficult in the long run isn’t it? Because there are weaklings too and they too cannot tolerate to work under anybody. So I felt to speak to the weaklings one by one and said, “well, its good to pass your time idly but for how long? Do you know why you are doing this? Because, there is this twisted trait in the family which won’t allow you to work under anybody. So please will yourself to overcome this trait, so that you can work smoothly. But this is  easy talk but the task ahead is just like asking them to drop Mt Everest in the Arabian Sea. You know, these genetic traits are one hell of a hurdle to jump. But I know, if we put our mind and wish for it truly in our hearts then everything is possible, even to switch the Sun and the Moon. Isn’t it?
            Well I have done it. Why don’t you try because switching the Sun and the Moon is easier than trying to change our destiny, just start your night duty. But that doesn’t mean that you can run away from destiny, face it and overcome it. I’m also in the same boat, I’m now in the facing it part phase. Wish me luck to be able to jump into the next phase and Best of luck to you all too.
Meena
           

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Water - Important For A Good Society

            We have been taught the importance of water, the elixir of life, the need to conserve and all these things. That is fine with me too. But I would like to share another important factor of water because I feel that you should know it,  it really can help you a lot in smoothening your life, your daily existence.
            I heard this topic in a retreat, the speaker, a professor of science. The story starts thus, A scientist accidentally found out that when crystallized water observed under the microscope had different shapes like stars, etc... but it wasn’t uniform or similar. He took water from different places and made into ice and observed it under the microscope and saw totally sifferent set of designs.
            Then one day he crystallized the water he had placed on the table to drink and there he found that the water was in the shape of a dolphin jumping up. He couldn’t comprehend why the water had this shape and this made him think and he looked into all theories but nothing matched, so that night he went to sleep with only this thought in mind and at night he felt thirsty, he switched on his bedside lamp and he accidentally knocked on a photo on the table, he straightened it and saw that it was a photo of a dolphin jumping from water, his eyes widened. He left his bedside water and went and drank from the kitchen. He crystallised his bedside water and found the same image – of a dolphin. He crystallised his water from the kitchen, no shape of a dolphin. He placed a photo of an elephant and placed a glass of water in front of it and when crystallised and observed under the microscope he found it took the shape of the elephant. He was awed by this property of water.
            At this time another scientist was testing another property of water, responding to circumstances. He took two beaker glasses and added a spoon of cooked rice in each glass and poured half a glass of water in both the beakers. He kept the two beakers in two rooms. He always said nice things like you are very nice, I appreciate it that you are doing wonderfully, I love to be with you, I love you, you look smart, etc... to the beaker in the first room. Then he spoke all the bad things like you are good for nothing, you are not fit for anything, I hate you, I hate your looks, you are not reliable, etc..... This continued for a week and after 1 week he found out that the first room beaker was just like it was placed, the water was clear and just the rice was a bit soggy. But the second room beaker was black and had started stinking. You might ask, So What? How does it connect with our life?
            Human body is more than 70% water and when you criticise somebody regularly, always say bad things, the result is he won’t produce the desired output. He would be a good – for – nothing person. You made him that. You are responsible for making him good -  for – nothing. Instead why don’t you use nice words and nice encouragement with the criticism, then you can get the desired result within a jiffy. Your parents, your wife / husband, your kids, your siblings, office staff, these are the people who are always with you. They are the people who would benefit from your words.
            I would like to give an example my dad taught me when I was young. He didn’t like criticism, but he wanted to say it was terrible, so he gave me an idea how to put it to the person. We were in my cousin’s house and my cousin John was a teenager. It was the time when  boys wore their hair long and take bath only once a week to look a bit rugged. Aunty seeing his son, in this shape got angry and started scolding him with lots of words, criticising him, etc.. naturally John got angry. My father along with me invited John to go sightseeing, as we were new to this place. He was angry but he consented. Then my dad whispered I’m going to make him cut his hair, just look. We walked slowly and we talked about lots of things and then my dad said, “Hey John, you look cool in this outfit, is it the new trend?” Yeah Uncle.  Hmm. Your hair style is good but there is something missing, because you are so good looking, that look doesn’t come out with this style, did you try any other style like tying a pony tail or a little braid. He pointed at some boys who adopted his same fashion and showed the difference. But that doesn’t mean that your style is bad. Its good, but I want you to look good, show your features out so that girls could look at you. But if you think this style suits you, then keep it, you’re OK. I was thinking of buying you a perfume. “What for uncle?” I don’t know, there is an odd smell, which won’t be liked by all if you’re going with your friends out, I thought that they shouldn’t leave you out. Then we bought him a good perfume, a set of dress, shoes and some things for aunty and uncle too and we returned home. At night during dinner, I couldn’t believe that John was a different boy, his hair cut short and had taken a good bath too. His parents were thunderstruck but we just smiled and my dad, said, “Now you’ve become our smart John. But that doesn’t mean, the other style is bad, OK?” John smiled and said you were right uncle, everyone felt the difference, my friends too. I think most of my friends cut their hair seeing my difference. So I think this style suits me. I’ll keep it. Dad said to me, “See Meena, I told you know John is an intelligent guy?” I nodded and smiled at John. Then we had a hearty meal and that was that. So there are different ways to say terrible things, find it and use it and try not to make human bodies a gutter. Best of luck.
Meena

Monday, August 1, 2011

A Very Special Person

            I have always thought what it would be like to be a very special person in someone else’s life. It would be a good feeling isn’t it? But I don’t want to talk about me as a very special person. I would like to introduce a person who is very special to me. I know we have lots of people who have really mattered in some way or other but I would like to say about a very special person who touched my heart.
            The person is a she. She really helped me in being my present self. Her persistence, patience and above all her love for whoever comes in contact with her is what made her special. Her speciality is, she makes everyone feel special, as a VIP (Very Important Person). But that is one facet of her personality.
            The other is her strong will to make something happen from nothing. She is a social worker. And she works in a very remote poor village. The work in itself to make the illiterate villagers understand the intricacies of laws for getting government services to their village is a herculean task but her persistence, patience and a will to win have earned her a reputation in her field of work, as a winner. All officials are at awe with her work. Everyone has total faith in her that they just give her a free hand to do what she feels because they know in the end she would succeed. That’s her clout in work.
            After all the hectic work day and night as a social worker, when she reaches home she is a meek housewife through and through. She prepares according to the liking of all. Her food is very tasty that she sometimes had to sleep with just water to drink. If there is a visitor, she ensures, to make something special for that person too. I haven’t heard her utter a resenting word against “always working” and “nobody helps her” or anything of that sort. But everyone knows that she is really wilted totally but her touch is the magic of her family. They need her presence. And she knows it too. So she prepares food wholeheartedly without an utterance.
            The first time I met her at her home, I was a teenager and I had a sweet tooth (even now I have it) and she knew it so she always made me a sweet until the day of my departure and she used to give me some beauty tips so that I should look beautiful. She would say, “This is the age to look beautiful. So you should use Besan (Dal Powder) on your face, do that, do this and she would make sure that all ingredients are there ready for my use. It was the first time, I had this experience. At first I didn’t know because I felt it natural but when I left her presence I knew the difference because only mothers do like this, none others. Then  I knew, she is indeed special. She is one in a million, who could do this to another child without any prejudice or qualm. Its not only me that she passed on this feeling, to all the children, to all the cousins of her husband’s, hers, friends, neighbours, etc...
            Now I know, what a difficult task is to become special. For her these acts is not forced, its like a second skin, but for me and the others who was touched by her is a lesson, which we would never forget to pass on because I met most of the kids (my cousins) who stayed with her, after that and still now, they’re different, very social people. Its not like simply talking and laughing, its something that is different from within. We can feel it.
            I feel lucky that I had the opportunity to have been with her, live with her and help her which actually she did it for me, understand myself and help me find my potential and to be persistent to reach  my goal and she is none other than my all in all Mrs. Chinnamma Thomas. She is my sister. She is working in Andhra Pradesh as a Social Worker in her own firm named Rural Development Society(RDS). Her husband, my brother Mr. P.J. Thomas is the backbone of her success who supports her in all her endeavours and with two kids, Renjith and Tara all grown up and studying and ready to take flight from the nest grew up as very nice kids, you might ask why nice? Well, they left their studies to look after their ailing grandmother until her demise (that comes to nearly two months). In this day and age I don’t know any parents who would allow, their kids to stall their studies for grandparents. Now you understand how people change because of her. She values human being, relationship not the money, nor the position.
            I have felt that her policy is to love fellow beings without bounds when alive than grieve after death. I don’t know whether she have had any regrets regarding relationships, whether it is for a villager or for her family, she is there for all. Seeing her work I feel awed and small. Such a multi faceted personality giving her best in all facets and living selflessly is the lesson we should learn.
            She is like a garden with a variety of flowers and fragrances. Let many be able to be touched by her. Though I can’t be a garden, I’ll try my level best to at least be a flower. To tell you frankly, its a hell of a lot of hard work, to make someone feel cherished and special. Wish me luck. I’m persisting.
Meena