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Showing posts with label THOUGHT PROVOKING. Show all posts
Showing posts with label THOUGHT PROVOKING. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Navarathri Festival then & now...changing times and patterns

Navarathri in the 70's- 2000 & Now....

I had the privilege of living & being brought up in Mumbai. A place where people from all over the country live. Where each festival is celebrated with gaeity. A place where there's a frenzy to catch a train/bus/rickshaw/taxi. Where a day passes only to go to work & be back. Where even 24 hours in a day is less.

The power it takes to board the train, squeezing through the robust melee of people in a mad frenzy to catch the train & the same frenzy to get off the train, literally jumping onto the platform, squeezing back through the crowd and daring all odds to reach home and yet come back with energy for the family & household chores waiting for them.

Yet, when festivals come, the ladies undauntingly celebrate it with ardour & warmth.

Our Tambrahm community has always known to be a practical & intelligent lot. Our pragmatic approach to changing times has helped retain our age-old traditions & rich culture & heritage.


Then.....

Working ladies would invite over the weekends & housewives over the week. Inspite of living in a fast paced city with such a flinty pace. People still managed to make the time to celebrate festivals with zest.

Back then, I used to enjoy dressing up in my pattu pavadais(silk petticoats), adorning jasmines in my hair and wearing Amma's gold necklace and jhimki(long gold earring with precious stones). I used to feel so dolled up as I used to accompany my Amma(mother) for vettala paaku.

The girl kids were an integral part of the celebrations and were "invited". I used to feel so privileged to be "invited"😀

Nowadays the kids do not want to accompany nor do they like to dress up in our beautiful traditional gear.

In our community, being born as a girl itself was a celebration.

My brother wasn't officially "invited"😜 for the vettala paaku.

Once we reached in our silks & fineries, mind you it's the onset of winters and just comfortable to be attired in our ensemble.

When we visited the people, we used to admire the golus(arrangement of dolls), ask questions about the theme of arrangement, new Additions (It's a tradition to have a new addition of a doll every year). We used to chant shlokas, sing bhajans, appreciate any new things in the hostess's house.

We usually used to be offered sundal & some sweet and beverages(coffee, tea, juice)

Sometimes we used to visit a few houses in a row, so the sundals & sweets used to be packed in little small packets of banana leaves covered with a newspaper made into little take away packs. These packets were made & readily kept if we refused to have anything offered at the hostess's home.

But now....

Calling for Vettala paaku has become an elaborate affair.

Every person is competing with another. The humble sundal & sweet are replaced with a huge array of food items. It's like a buffet arrangement with a varieties of snacks & sweets. People are slogging in the kitchen to outdo each other in the quest of making an impression on the invitees. Some even ordering food from restaurants. Eventually a lot of ladies who cannot manage all this will jump off this bandwagon and succumb to the temptation of "not" celebrating this beautiful festival.

There's also competition in dressing up, presenting the house,

Offering expensive gifts and comparing who's gift is better than the other.

There's pressure in dressing up in certain colors.

There are yet, a group of people who pack the thamboolam in gift pouches and send it over to their friends through their maids😂.Totally hassle-free but completely kills the idea of offering thamboolam.

The manjal(Haldi) kumkumam (Kumkum)which was offered from little brass/silver boxes have transformed into plastic pouches or boxes holding colored powders.

The paaku(betel nuts) is packed in plastic pouches.

We are using so many non biodegradable things now in the name of convenience which is harming the environment.

I'm glad I kept re-inventing myself over the period of years. This year I purchased cloth bags to give my vettala paaku, i do not give blouse pieces which are going to be further passed on😜.

I love the idea of gifts, Gifts are an integral part of the thamboolam, so i take a lot of efforts, go to many shops, buy gifts which can be used in the pooja room or house. Keep the cost economical as I give a lot of people (80-100 ladies). The idea is not the cost but the thought behind it.

Haldi-kumkum packets i still give....maybe eventually it should (will)change. Betel nut packets too....but my friends love them.

No bangles, combs, pottu packets, mirrors😂🤣....they definitely get recycled.

Gifts are an integral part of the Haldi kumkum,

My mom used to say, "The more ladies you give, the more punyam you get".


We must adapt to the changing times and not rigidly keep doing rituals in the name of tradition. We must take into account the present day situation and act accordingly.


"Happy Navarathri to All"




© Sukanya's Musings

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Inspirational Story: Red Rose and the Cactus

Inspirational Story: Red Rose and the Cactus
One beautiful spring day a red rose blossomed in a forest. Many kinds of trees and plants grew there. As the rose looked around, a pine tree nearby said, "What a beautiful flower. I wish I was that lovely." Another tree said, "Dear pine, do not be sad, we can not have everything."

The rose turned its head and remarked, "It seems that I am the most beautiful plant in this forest."

A sunflower raised its yellow head and asked, "Why do you say that? In this forest there are many beautiful plants. You are just one of them." The red rose replied, "I see everyone looking at me and admiring me." Then the rose looked at a cactus and said, "Look at that ugly plant full of thorns!" The pine tree said, "Red rose, what kind of talk is this? Who can say what beauty is? You have thorns too."

The proud red rose looked angrily at the pine and said, "I thought you had good taste! You do not know what beauty is at all. You can not compare my thorns to that of the cactus."

"What a proud flower", thought the trees.
The rose tried to move its roots away from the cactus, but it could not move. As the days passed, the red rose would look at the cactus and say insulting things, like: This plant is useless? How sorry I am to be his neighbor."

The cactus never got upset and he even tried to advise the rose, saying, "God did not create any form of life without a purpose."

Spring passed, and the weather became very warm. Life became difficult in the forest, as the plants and animals needed water and no rain fell. The red rose began to wilt. One day the rose saw sparrows stick their beaks into the cactus and then fly away, refreshed. This was puzzling, and the red rose asked the pine tree what the birds were doing.

The pine tree explained that the birds got water from the cactus. "Does it not hurt when they make holes?" asked the rose.

 "Yes, but the cactus does not like to see any birds suffer," replied the pine. The rose opened its eyes in wonder and said, "The cactus has water?"

"Yes you can also drink from it. The sparrow can bring water to you if you ask the cactus for help."

The red rose felt too ashamed of its past words and behavior to ask for water from the cactus, but then it finally did ask the cactus for help. The cactus kindly agreed and the birds filled their beaks with water and watered the rose's roots.

MORAL: Never judge anyone by their appearance again. God did not create anything without a purpose.

Monday, October 13, 2008

THE WIFE AND THE WINDOW

THE WIFE AND THE WINDOW
A young couple moves into a new neighborhood. The next morning, while
they are eating breakfast, the young woman sees her neighbor hang the
wash outside.

That laundry is not very clean, she said, she doesn't know how to
wash correctly. Perhaps she needs better laundry soap.

Her husband looked on, but remained silent. Every time her neighbor
would hang her wash to dry, the young woman would make the same
comments.

About one month later, the woman was surprised to see a nice clean
wash on the line and said to her husband: "Look! She has learned how
to wash correctly. I wonder who taught her this."

The husband said: "I got up early this morning and cleaned our
windows!"

And so it is with life: "What we see when watching others depends on
the purity of the window through which we look. Before we give any
criticism, it might be a good idea to check our state of mind and ask
ourselves if we are ready to see the good rather than to be looking
for something in the person we are about to judge. "

Thursday, August 14, 2008

THE GHOST AND THE GURU

THE GHOST AND THE GURU
A middle-aged married lady, having a happy family life, had a weird predicament. She used to see a ‘Ghost’ exactly at 2.00 am every morning. Precisely at that unearthly hour, she used to notice this draconian figure staring at her. In fear, closing her eyes and shivering in terror, she used to wait for the morning sun to rise. Her visits to various doctors, psychologists and tantriks to solve the problem, were of no avail in eliminating this ‘GHOST’ from her life. Her family was in deep despair.
One day she happened to meet a saint, who was respected for his spiritual aura and stature. In desperation she poured out to him this tale of agony. Sympathizing with this lady, the saint decided to visit her house. On an appointed day the saint arrived at her house. He was led to the bedroom where the ‘GHOST’ used to make the customary visit everyday. Examining the place he declared – ‘Your problem is solved’, just make some changes in the settings of the room, particularly the cupboard near the bed.
The changes were carried out immediately and to the surprise of all, from that night, the ‘GHOST’ stopped the routine visits and it disappeared from the scene. The lady had a peaceful sleep. Everyone was thrilled and appreciative about the spiritual aura and knowledge of the saint. They presumed the ghost was in the cupboard or it was present due to some negative structural settings as per ‘vastu shastra or feng shui’.
Shortly thereafter, they visited the saint for thanksgiving. Prostrating in gratitude, she told him ‘you are a divine persona, your mere presence in my house made the ghost disappear.
The Saint smiled and replied.
“Dear Child, actually there was no ‘GHOST’. Everyday at 2.00 am in the morning, when you used to get up for answering nature’s call, your own reflection was seen in the mirror, which was fixed in the cupboard and was facing the bed. Since at that hour of the day, you were without any make – up, your hair was unkempt, and your spectacles were not on, you mistook your own reflection, which was ….probably not so pleasing, to be a ghost staring at you.

Moral
Like the lady in the story, the deficiencies, mistakes and negative tendencies we see in the world outside or on other people, is nothing but only a reflection of the similar qualities or traits we have simmering within us.
Similarly our subconscious fears, anxieties, insecurities and tensions are not due to circumstances or people outside, but our own thoughts and narrow minded outlook within.
Your Mind is the mirror and the root cause of your actions and reactions. It only reflects what you are within.
If only we use the time, that we spend in criticizing others, in correcting or cleaning ourselves, we will see goodness all around.
Like the saint in the story, a true Teacher or a Guru is the one who makes you realize that your true self is divine and not the pathetic reflection you assume.
The Guru triggers a thinking process of transformation in you and makes you realize that you are not the weak human being; you are imagining yourself to be, but a divine child of purity, power and pristine beauty.
He is like a mountain guide. The path is like climbing a mountain: we don't really know what we will find at the summit. We have only heard that it is beautiful, everybody is happy there, the view is magnificent and the air unpolluted. If we have a guide who has already climbed the mountain, he can help us avoid falling into a crevice, or slipping on loose stones, or getting off the path. Selflessly, with the sole motive of your development and destroying ignorance, the Guru makes you identify and weed out the subconscious weaknesses, fears and insecurities simmering within you without your knowledge, and, eventually, making you reach the reservoir of wisdom inherent in you and transforming you into a fearless, selfless, dynamic and successful person.
The mind is given to you; you are not given to the mind.
Learn to be its master and not its slave.
Meditation or self-enquiry is the cleaning solution which wipes the mind mirror spotless and makes you see the world brighter, in the correct perspective.

QUOTES BY POPULAR GURUS/THINKERS
"Meditation increases your vitality and strengthens your intelligence; your beauty is enhanced; your mental clarity and health improve. You acquire the patience and fortitude to face any problem in life. So, meditate! Only through meditation will you find the treasure you are seeking." — Mata Amritanandamayi

"Meditation gives you an opportunity to come to know your invisible self. It allows you to empty yourself of the endless hyperactivity of your mind, and to attain calmness. It teaches you to be peaceful, to remove stress, to receive answers where confusion previously reigned." — Dr. Wayne Dyer

Look at the sky to find the moon, not in the pond. So let’s leave our GHOST’S behind. Reach high up there at the summit of accomplishment of your dreams and look forward to a bountiful life.

(Saw this and thought it worth keeping, so whoever visit my blog can get to read something so eye-opening)

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

THE CRACKED POT

THE CRACKED POT

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on the ends of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a crack in it, while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water.


At the end of the long walk from the stream to the house, the cracked pot arrived only half full. For a full two years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water to his house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the water bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you. I have been able to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your house. Because of my flaws, you have to do a lot of this work, and you don't get full value from your efforts," the pot said.

The bearer said to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of the path, but not on the other pot's side? That's because I have always known about your flaw, and I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back, you've watered them.

For two years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate the table. Without you being just the way you are, there would not be this beauty to grace the house."

Moral:
Each of us has our own unique flaws. We're all cracked pots. But it's the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

ARE YOUR HANDS TOO BUSY

My Hands Were Busy
My hands were busy throughout the day
I didn't have much time to play
The little games you asked me to.
I didn't have much time for you.

I'd wash your clothes, I'd sew and cook,
But when you'd bring your picture book
And ask me please to share your fun,
I'd say: "A little later, son."

I'd tuck you in all safe at night
And hear your prayers, turn out the light,
Then tiptoe softly to the door...
I wished I'd stayed a minute more.

For time is short, the years rush past...
A little boy grows up so fast.
No longer is he at your side,
His precious secrets to confide.

The picture books are put away,
There are no longer games to play,
No goodnight kiss, no prayers to hear...
That all belongs to yesteryear.

My hands, once busy, now are still.
The days are long and hard to fill.
I wish I could go back and do
The little things you asked me to.
- Author Unknown

Friday, April 14, 2006

A MOTHER'S PRICE

"A MOTHER’S PRICE"

A little boy came up to his mother in the kitchen one evening while she was fixing supper, and handed her a piece of paper that he had been writing on. After his Mom dried her hands on an apron, she read it, and this is what it said :

For cutting the grass - $5

For cleaning up my room this week -$1.00

For going to the store for you - $0.50

Baby-sitting my kid brother while you went shopping - $0.25

Taking out the garbage - $1.00

For getting a good report card - $5.00

For cleaning up and raking the yard - $2.00

Total owed = $14.75

Well, his mother looked at him standing there, and the boy could see the memories flashing through her mind. She picked up the pen, turned over the paper he'd written on, and this is what she wrote:

For the 9-months I carried you while you were growing inside me - No Charge.

For all the nights that I've sat up with you, doctored and prayed for you - No Charge.

For all the trying times, and all the tears that you've caused through the years - No Charge.

For all the nights that were filled with dread and for the worries I knew were ahead - No Charge.

For the toys, food, clothes, and even wiping your nose - No Charge.

Son, when you add it up, the cost of my love is - No Charge.

When the boy finished reading what his mother had written, there were big tears in his eyes, and he looked straight at his mother and said, "Mom, I sure do love you." And then he took the pen and in great big letters he wrote: "PAID IN FULL".

You will never know how much your parents are worth till you become a Parent. Be a giver not an asker, especially with your parents.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

YOU ARE GOD'S WORK OF ART

YOU ARE GOD'S WORK OF ART

Outwardly, you may not appear to be much of a masterpiece. You may look like a piece of junk. But inwardly, and in reality, you are God's work of art -- and God does not make any junk. All that is outward and seen is only temporary -- like the cocoon the butterfly inhabits for only a short time. So, while you should take care of your present body, don't be overly concerned about it. Most importantly, don't think of yourself as just the body you are now living in. You are a child of Almighty God, creator and ruler of the universe. Someone God is "raising" to be His companion for eternity. You are NOT insignificant.

Admittedly, you are a work in progress. God still has more work to do with you -- but He is the artist, and He will finish His work.

(Hint: As you submit to God, the easier it is for Him to change you into the wonderful image he has in mind. Someday, everyone will clearly see what God has done in you: making you a wonderful, unique individual worthy of Himself.

What is it that makes a person beautiful? If you have not thought about it, here are some reasons.

Youth: Everyone always looks their best when they are young. Obviously, the younger one is, the better they look. Yet those who are "young at heart" - full of happiness, full of feeling a sense of wonder and adventure about the world, of child-like (not childish) happiness, etc - always project a more beautiful appearance.

Kindness: Those who are full of loving kindness, those who are positive, those who are always ready to lend a helping hand, acquire a "filter" that projects the beauty (or the ugliness) of their soul. You can prove this to yourself by thinking about a person you thought was unattractive, at first, but, as you got to know them, became more attractive because you came to like them. Or, think about a person you thought was very attractive, at first, but seemed to grow uglier as you came to dislike them as you got to know them.

Thoughts: Those who "believe" that they are beautiful - in the deepest recesses of their heart and soul - tend to act on that belief by projecting it and so they tend to be viewed as more beautiful. Ask the most beautiful person you know in real life what they think about their appearance. Even though they will be quick to point out the flaws in their appearance, they will also be quick to say that they are, in fact, beautiful.

Action: Most people on Earth try their best to make their "bag of skin” as attractive as possible. Some spend small fortunes in getting surgery to make themselves "look" better (although after multiple surgeries others would question if that was the result). Yet, what makes a person beautiful is their "acting as if" they are... and doing the best they can with what they have. So if you want to seem beautiful, start acting-projecting beauty.

Friday, February 17, 2006

The Power of Praise

The Power of Praise
In the early 19th century, a young man in London aspired to be a writer. But everything seemed to be against him. He had never been able to attend school more than four years. His father had been thrown in jail because he couldn't pay his debts, and this young man often knew the pangs of hunger.
Finally he got a job pasting labels on bottles in a rat-infested warehouse, and he slept at night in a dismal attic room with two other boys - guttersnipes from the slums of London.
He had so little confidence in his ability to write that he sneaked out and mailed his first manuscript in the dead of night so nobody would laugh at him. Story after story was refused.
Finally the great day came when one was accepted. True, he wasn't paid for it, but one editor had praised him. One editor had given him recognition. He was so thrilled that he wandered aimlessly around the streets with tears rolling down his cheeks.
The praise, the recognition that he received through getting one story in print changed his whole life. If it hadn't been for that encouragement, he might have spent his entire life working in rat-infested factories. You may have heard of that boy.
His name is Charles Dickens.

With the many discouragements that people face each day, we should never underestimate the power that our positive words can have on them. A word of encouragement to someone who is feeling down and depressed can mean the world to them and in effect change their outlook on their situation. Comfort the feebleminded and support those who are weak. We are called to comfort, support and lift up those who are weak and their spirits and show them the love of God through our intervention so that they may be able to stand up and continue on. Be an encourager when the opportunity arises so that others may be lifted up by your positive reinforcements. We never really know what someone else is going through and this fact alone should cause us to take the initiative to say a good word of encouragement when the opportunity presents itself.
Be encouraged to be an encourager and know that your simple uplifting words will cause a change that will greatly outlast and outweigh the sacrifice that you made in your intervention.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

GOD AND THE SPIDER

GOD AND THE SPIDER
God and the SpiderDuring World War II, a US marine was separated from his unit on aPacific island. The fighting had been intense, and in the smoke andthe crossfire he had lost touch with his comrades. Alone in the jungle, he could hear enemy soldiers coming in his direction. Scrambling for cover, he found his way up a high ridge to several small caves in the rock. Quickly he crawled inside one of the caves. Although safe for the moment, he realized that once the enemy soldiers looking for him swept up the ridge, they would quickly search all the caves and he would be killed. As he waited, he prayed, Lord, if it be your will, please protectme. Whatever your will though, I love you and trust you. Amen. After praying, he lay quietly listening to the enemy begin to drawclose. He thought, Well, I guess the Lord is not going to help meout of this one.Then he saw a spider begin to build a web over thefront of his cave. As he watched, listening to the enemy searching for him all the while, the spider layered strand after strand of web across the opening of the cave.He thought what I need is a brick wall and what the Lord has sent me is a spider web. God does have a sense of humor. As the enemy drew closer he watched from the darkness of his hideout and could see them searching one cave after another. As they came to his, he got ready to make his last stand. To his amazement, however, after glancing in the direction of his cave, they moved on. Suddenly, he realized that with the spider web over the entrance, his cave looked as if no one had entered for quite a while. Lord, forgive me, prayed the young man. I had forgotten that in you a spider's web is stronger than a brick wall. We all face times of great trouble. When we do, it is so easy to forget the victories that God would work in our lives, sometimes in the most surprising ways.
Remember: Whatever is happening in your life, with God, a merespiders web can become a brick wall of protection. Believe He is with you always and you will see His great power and love for you.

Always Smile and be happy knowing that whatever u do, God is with you....God loves each individual, we are his children. Spread love and happiness.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP

NEVER, NEVER, NEVER GIVE UP

Don't give up.....

One day I decided to quit...

I quit my job, my relationship, my spirituality... I wanted to quit my

life.

I went to the woods to have one last talk with God.

"God", I asked, "Can you give me one good reason not to quit?"

His answer surprised me...

"Look around", He said. "Do you see the fern and the bamboo?"

"Yes", I replied.

"When I planted the fern and the bamboo seeds, I took very good care of

them.

I gave them light.

I gave them water.

The fern quickly grew from the earth.

Its brilliant green covered the floor.

Yet nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the bamboo.

In the second year the Fern grew more vibrant and plentiful.

And again, nothing came from the bamboo seed. But I did not quit on the

bamboo. He said.

"In year three there was still nothing from the bamboo seed.

But I would not quit.

In year four, again, there was nothing from the bamboo seed. I would

not quit." He said.

"Then in the fifth year a tiny sprout emerged from the earth. Compared

to the fern it was seemingly small and insignificant...But just 6

months later the bamboo rose to over 100 feet tall.

It had spent the five years growing roots. Those roots made it strong

and gave it what it needed to survive.

I would not give any of my creations a challenge it could not handle."

He asked me. "Did you know, my child, that all this time you have been

struggling, you have actually been growing roots".

"I would not quit on the bamboo.

I will never quit on you."

"Don't compare yourself to others."

He said.

"The bamboo had adifferent Purpose than the fern.

Yet they both make the forest beautiful."

"Your time will come", God said to me.

"You will rise high"

"How high should I rise?"

I asked.

"How high will the bamboo rise?" He asked in return.

"As high as it can?" I questioned.

"Yes." He said, "Give me glory by rising as high as you can."

I left the forest and brought back this story.

I hope these words can help you see that God will never give up on you.

Never, Never, Never Give up.

For the Prayer is not an option but an opportunity.

Don't tell the Lord how big the problem is,

tell the problem how Great the Lord is!

Heavens door open this morning, God asked me... My CHILD...

what can I do for you?" and I said "Daddy please protect and bless the

one reading this message.

God smiled and answered ... "request granted ............

Saturday, July 23, 2005

THE GEESE AND THE STORM

The Geese and the Storm !

There was once a man who did not believe in God or thespiritual meaning behind it, and was sceptical evenabout God. He and his family lived in a farmcommunity. His wife was a devout believer anddiligently raised her children in the faith. Hesometimes gave her a hard time about her belief andmocked her religious observances."It's all nonsense -- why would God lower himself andbecome a human like us? It's such a ridiculous story,"he said. One snowy day, she and the children left for templewhile he stayed home. After they had departed, thewinds grew stronger and the snow turned intoa blinding snowstorm. He sat down to relax before thefire for the evening.Then he heard a loud thump, something hitting against the window... And, still another thump. He looked outside but could not see anything. So he ventured outside for a better view. In the field near his house he saw, of all the strangest things, a flock of geese.They were apparently flying to look for a warmer area down south, but they had been caught in the snowstorm. The storm had become too blinding and violent for the geese to fly or see their way. They were stranded on his farm, with no food or shelter, unable to do more than flutter their wings and fly in aimless circles. He had compassion for them and wanted to help them. He thought to himself, the barn would be a great place for them to stay. It is warm and safe; surely theycould spend the night and wait out the storm. So he opened the barn doors for them.He waited, watching them, hoping they would notice the open barn and go inside. Nevertheless, they did not notice the barn or realize what it could mean for them. He moved closer toward them to get their attention,but they just moved away from him out of fear. He went into the house and came back with some bread,broke it up, and made a bread trail to the barn. They still did not catch on. Starting to get frustrated, he went over and tried toshoo them toward the barn. They panicked and scattered into every direction except toward the barn. Nothing he did could get them to go into the barn where there was warmth, safety, and shelter. Feeling totally frustrated, he exclaimed "Why don't they follow me? Can't they see this is the only place where they cansurvive the storm? How can I possibly get them intothe one place to save them?"He thought for a moment and realized that they justwould not follow a human. He said to himself, "How canI possibly save them? The only way would be for me to become like those geese. If only I could become like one of them. Then I could save them. They would follow me and I would lead them to safety."At that moment, he stopped and considered what he had said. The words reverberated in his mind: If only I could become like one of them, then I could save them.Then, at last, he understood God's heart towards mankind...and he fell on his knees in the snow.
-Author Unknown

Thursday, June 30, 2005

THE POTTER

THE POTTER
The Potter man who had just lost his job went over to a shop and with the last of his money decided to buy a beautiful teacup for his wife. On the display shelf, he saw the perfect cup and told the sales person to take it down, "I've never seen a cup so beautiful!" he said as she handed it to him and he paid the money. The man had tears as he handled the lovely cup but felt sad as he looked at his empty wallet. Suddenly the cup spoke: "I have not always been a tea-cup," it said, "there was a time when I was just a lump of red clay. My master took me and rolled me pounded and patted me over and over and I yelled out, "don't do that. I don't like it! Let me alone", but he only smiled, and gently said; 'Not yet!!' "Then. WHAM! I was placed on a spinning wheel and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. 'Stop it! I'm getting so dizzy! I'm going to be sick!', I screamed. But the master only nodded and said, quietly; 'Not yet' He spun me and poked and prodded and bent me out of shape to suit himself and then he put me in the oven." " I never felt such heat. I yelled and knocked and pounded at the door. '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'. "When I thought I couldn't bear it another minute, the door opened. He carefully took me out and put me on the shelf, and I began to cool. Oh, that felt so good! 'Ah, this is much better,' I thought. "But, after I cooled he picked me up and he brushed and painted me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. 'Oh, please stop it, Stop it!!' I cried. He only shook his head and said. 'Not yet!'. "Then suddenly he put me back in to the oven. Only it was not like the first one. This was twice as hot and I just knew I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed I cried. I was convinced I would never make it, was ready to give up. Just then the door opened and he took me out and again placed me on the shelf, where I cooled and waited and waited, wondering what's he going to do to me next? "An hour later he handed me a mirror and said 'Look at yourself.' And I did,"I said, 'That's not me; that couldn't be me. It's beautiful. I'm beautiful!"'"Quietly he spoke: I want you to remember, then,' he said, 'I know it hurt to be rolled and pounded and patted, but had I just left you alone, you'd have dried up. I know it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumbled. I know it hurt and it was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have cracked." "'I know the fumes were bad when I brushed and painted you all over, but if I hadn't done that, you never would have hardened. You would not have had any color in your life. If I hadn't put you back in that second oven, you wouldn't have survived for long because the hardness would not have held. Now you are a finished product. Now you are what I had in mind when I first began with you."
The beautiful cup looked up at the man who had just lost his job, "So don't cry my friend. You are going through the shaping and heat and painting I went through. But when the potter stops you will be lovely to behold..! So when life seems hard, and you are being pounded and patted and pushed almost beyond endurance; when your world seems to be spinning out of control; when you feel like you are in a fiery furnace of trials; when life seems awful and terrible, try this: Brew a cup of your favorite tea in your prettiest teacup, sit down and think on this story and then, have a little talk with the Potter (Ur Creator). He knows what He is doing and may just tell you: "Not yet..!"

Thursday, May 19, 2005

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS OF LIFE

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS FOR THE OVER 35 YEARS OLD :)[life span is unpredictable these days even a 25 yrs old is at risk of kicking the bucket:) ...] 1. Focus on enjoying people, not on indulging in or accumulating material things.2. Plan to spend whatever you have saved. You deserve to enjoy it and thefew healthy years you have left. Travel if you can afford it. Don't leaveanything for your children or loved ones to quarrel about. By leavinganything, you may even cause more trouble when you are gone.3. Live in the here and now, not in the yesterdays and tomorrows. It is onlytoday that you can handle. Yesterday is gone, tomorrow may not even happen.4. Enjoy your grandchildren (if you are above 60 and blessed with any) but don'tBE THEIR full time baby sitter. You have no moral obligation to take care of them.!Don't have any guilt about refusing to baby sit anyone's kids, includingyour own grandkids. Your parental obligation is to your children. After youhave raised them into responsible adults, your duties of child-rearing andbabysitting are finished. Let your children raise their own off-springs.5. Accept physical weakness, sickness and other physical pains. It is a partof the aging process. Enjoy whatever your health can allow.6. Enjoy what you are and what you have right now. Stop working hard forwhat you do not have. If you do not have them, it's probably too late.7. Just enjoy your life with your spouse, children, grandchildren andfriends. People, who truly love you, who love you for yourself, not for whatyou have. Anyone who loves you for what you have will just give you misery.8. Forgive and accept forgiveness. Forgive yourself and others. Enjoy peaceof mind and peace of soul.9. Befriend death. It's a natural part of the life cycle. Don't be afraid ofit. Death is the beginning of a new and better life. So, prepare yourselfnot for death but for a new life with the Almighty.
ALWAYS BE HAPPY AND KEEP SMILING

Thursday, January 27, 2005

I LOVE YOU ANYWAY

I LOVE YOU ANYWAY
The fear of rejection may be one of the most basic fears of the human experience. Dr. Joe Harding tells a heart-warming story of a man who finally decided to ask his boss for a raise in salary. It was Friday. He told his wife that morning what he was about to do. All day the man felt nervous and apprehensive. Late in the afternoon he summoned the courage to approach his employer. To his delight, the boss agreed to a raise.

The man arrived home to a beautiful table set with their best china. Candles were lighted. His wife had prepared a festive meal. Immediately he figured that someone from the office had tipped her off! Finding his wife in the kitchen, he told her the good news. They embraced and kissed, then sat down to a wonderful meal. Next to his plate the man found a beautiful lettered note. It read :
"Congratulations, darling! I knew you'd get the raise! These things will tell you how much I love you."

While he was on his way to the kitchen to get the dessert he noticed that a second card had fallen from her pocket. Picking it off the floor, he read :
"Don't worry about not getting the raise! You deserve it anyway! These things will tell you how much I love you."

Total acceptance! Total love.

The wife’s love for her husband was not contingent upon his success at work, it was just the opposite. If he were to fail there or be rejected by his boss, he'd be all the more accepted at home. She stood behind him no matter what; softening the blows, healing the wounds, believing in him, loving him. That's the way families “can” be with each other.

We can bear being rejected by almost anyone if we're loved even by one person unconditionally. That one person is already existing in our life and that is “God”.
God loves each of his children equally and unconditionally, whether we think of him or not, whether we pray to him or not, he still cares for us. It is important in life that we love others unconditionally just as God's love is unconditional towards us. His love for us is perfect and is not dependent on whether we triumph or stumble or whether we succeed or fail.
There is a God in each one of us. Let’s not conceal one's true feelings or intentions, let’s see God in each and every one around us. Let us not go forth saying that we love with no feeling behind it, but rather let us go forth with a pure heart showing God's love to all unconditionally just as God wishes for each of us.
Love each other like how God loves us.

Thursday, September 30, 2004

Poem - THE WORLD IS MINE

Hi Members,
I received this lovely poem as a forward and I couldnt help but share it with you'll
Please read on and thank god for all that he has given us.

The World is Mine

Today, upon a bus, I saw a very beautiful woman.And wished I were as beautiful.When suddenly she rose to leave,I saw her hobble down the aisle.She had one leg and wore a crutch.But as she passed, she passed a smile.Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.I have two legs; the world is mine.

I stopped to buy some candy.The lad who sold it had such charm.I talked with him, he seemed so glad.If I were late, it'd do no harm.And as I left, he said to me, "I thank you,you've been so kind.It's nice to talk with folks like you.You see," he said, "I'm blind."Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.I have two eyes; the world is mine.

Later while walking down the street,I saw a child I knew.He stood and watched the others play,but he did not know what to do.I stopped a moment and then I said,"Why don't you join them dear?"He looked ahead without a word.I forgot, he couldn't hear.Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.I have two ears; the world is mine.

With feet to take me where I'd go.With eyes to see the sunset's glow.With ears to hear what I'd know.Oh, God, forgive me when I whine.I've been blessed indeed, the world is mine.

Tuesday, November 12, 2002

GUESTBOOK - Be an ideal guest, dont be a pest.

GUESTBOOK

“BE AN IDEAL GUEST, DON’T BE A PEST

In most Indian families, house guests are a part and parcel of life. They could range from close relatives to distant cousins, friends, colleagues or even acquaintances. On the other hand, you could be forced by circumstance, to be a house guest at someone’s place. Needless to say, the host-guest relationship is a delicate balance, which has to be maintained. Today very few people are invited and even lesser people are inviting. Social life as far as visiting each other to stay over is almost zero. With the man and woman both going to work, they don’t have time for themselves, so how will they have time to entertain others. Inflation, is another reason that people have become less hospitable. The saying, “Atithi Devo Bhava” (means guest is equal to God, or God comes in the form of a guest) doesn’t hold good any longer.

Today’s woman walks a tight-rope balancing multiple roles in a 24 hour time frame. In this over-burdened, overstrained scenario, entertaining unwelcome house guests may disturb the fine balance between work, family and social pressures.

I would love to call this article “A guestbook”, If everyone follows this guestbook, life would be simpler and our social life would be good.

A FEW POINTERS TO AVOID THE ‘UNWELCOME’CATEGORY

  • Remember you are in someone else’s private domain.
  • Begin by finding out the most convenient time to visit.
  • Take a gift for the host’s children – a box of chocolates, ice-cream or fruits is a nice gesture.
  • Once invited, don’t expect to be waited upon
  • Try and be helpful as much as possible- tidy up your bedroom, help the hostess in the kitchen, answer the phone or door-bell.
  • Identify the established norms of your host’s household. Then try and fit yourself into the general household routine.
  • If u are held up somewhere or are deciding to have a meal outside, be sure to call and inform your host.
  • If accompanied by children, make sure they behave well. Teach them to put up with small inconveniences, to tidy up their room and run errands whenever needed.
  • Never over-step basic limits, especially with servants. Behave kindly towards them. Do not order them around. Do not forget to tip them when u leave, as they’ve to handle extra work-washing utensils, clothes, etc.
  • Offer to buy groceries, fetch the milk, drop the children to the school bus-stand, walk the dog and so on.
  • Be careful while handling the daily newspaper. Don’t crumple it or change the order of the papers. Don’t grab it before your host could read it. They may be habituated to reading it first thing in the morning while sipping tea and may not appreciate their routine being disturbed by you.

SMALL GESTURES MATTER

Some hints to impress your hosts :

  • Show kindness to their pets.
  • Don’t help yourself to food from the fridge or drinks from the bar without permission.
  • Don’t insist on non-veg food when the hosts are vegetarians.
  • Make your own tea if the hosts are late-risers.
  • Take the host and his family out for dinner.
  • Bring flowers for the hostess.

DON’T BE A PEST

Over-staying one’s welcome is just not done. It has been rightly said,

“THE FIRST DAY, A GUEST; THE SECOND, A BURDEN;THE THIRD, A

PEST.”

  • Always inform prior to coming about your plan, how many people are coming? how many days you are planning to stay? and ask them if it is convenient for them if you have to stay for a longer time.
  • A week is the maximum one should stay as a house guest (it helps to keep good relations, don’t u agree)
  • If you are staying for a longer time you need to contribute towards the expenditures of the house.
  • If u are a house guest for a longer time ensure that u help the hostess in the household chores; especially if u are going to stay as a houseguest in a foreign country where there is little or no help available in the form of servants, help the hostess with washing vessels, cleaning the house, cleaning the bathrooms and toilets used by you.
  • Always flush the toilets after use and ensure that your children have done the same too. Please enquire with your hostess how she disposes of sanitary napkins /used diapers and do so accordingly.
  • Never ever put your laundry to the hostess or host for washing. It is very bad manners to put your undergarments for washing. It puts u in the strictly unwelcome category and gives a very bad impression about u and your upbringing.
  • Don’t expect to be served hand and foot by your host/hostess. Instead of your hostess coming up to you and giving you your teacup, just go to the kitchen and take it from her. Incase she brings it up to you, “Tell her why did you take the effort, you could have called me, I would just come and take it from you”.
  • If they don’t have the practice of eating breakfast or an evening snack, don’t trouble them to make a breakfast for you. Don’t lecture them on the benefits of eating a good breakfast. You can always go outside and have a decent breakfast in any restaurant or alternatively buy bread/biscuits etc from a shop for your morning breakfast. Either ways offer your host as well. Incase your host has been kind enough to rustle up some thing for you, don’t be fussy and if your kids are fussy, promise to take them out for whatever they want to eat. Don’t encourage the tantrums thrown by your kids and trouble your hostess.
  • Don’t ask for cups for oil for taking hair and body massages in your host’s house.
  • If you are going to stay in someone’s house with kids, be extremely careful and don’t let the kids touch anything expensive. Keep a watchful eye on them. Offer to buy extra milk etc. for the babies. Don’t encourage kids to argue with the host/hostess. Incase your kids are fighting with the hosts kids, reprimand your kids. If anything is broken accidentally due to your kid’s mistake, either buy a new one to replace the broken one or atleast offer to buy a new one by apologizing for the mistake.
  • Don’t expect your host to keep u company at all times. Learn to amuse yourself – read, watch TV or go for a walk, catch up on your sight-seeing or shopping.
  • Respect your host’s privacy and don’t ask for his car. Apart from petrol being expensive, many people don’t like lending their cars to other drivers. Hire a cab or auto-rickshaw, or use the public transport system.
  • Be flexible about your food habits. Do not expect your host to feed you your favorite dish every second day.
  • If you are invited for dinner, don’t open vessels and peep into what’s been cooked for dinner. If you have a problem and are allergic to certain foods inform the host at the time you have agreed to go to their place for dinner.
  • While eating see if there is enough left for the host/hostess to eat. Don’t hog as if you haven’t eaten in years and the hostess has to cook again for themselves.
  • Incase u are late don’t expect your host and hostess to wait for u for dinner, ask them to go ahead and say that u will manage on your own when u are back and they must not get up or trouble themselves to serve u your dinner. Ensure that u eat the dinner cooked and kept for u on the table, it is bad manners to waste food, and also clean up after u finish, don’t keep the utensils for your hostess to wash in the morning, and ensure that leftover food is neatly put in small vessels and kept in the fridge.
  • Don’t wake your host up, to make requests for a hot/cold cup of milk or cocoa at night. Milk is expensive and they may need milk in the morning to make a cup of tea or a bottle of milk for the baby. They have to stock up on the leftover milk until the milkman arrives the next day morning.
  • Make your own bed. Don’t leave your room in a mess.
  • Never go to judge something or interfere in their personal lives or support an argument, even if they involve u in it.
  • Never make comments on their families or friends.
  • Incase there is an occasion at home like the birthday party or wedding anniversary of either of them and even if they invite u, humbly apologize for not going and let them celebrate it in private. Get them a gift for the occasion.
  • Don’t open their refrigerator/kitchen cabinets and curiously look in. Don’t make comments on its contents. That’s bad manners again.
  • Never use their PC, fax machines or telephones without prior permission.
  • Incase u are a long time house guest and u need to use the PC, don’t ever open personal documents, don’t play games through the internet, as the host may have to bear the expense of the internet, use the host’s PC for a necessity not for a luxury.
  • Don’t make STD/ISD calls and if u need to make a call, pay for it.
  • Never demand to see the channel of your choice on TV, incase u need to see a particular program make a request.
  • Never criticize your host about the décor, food, the kid’s behavior, even the erratic power or water supply.
  • “Open Your Mouth Only To Appreciate Something.”
  • Remember u are a guest whether u are living with your hosts for a short time or a longer time, u are not going to be there for good, so make adjustments, then, your stay will be pleasant & peaceful.
  • When u go back to your own home u can always live like a “King”.
  • Make yourself welcome and make your hosts feel good about you.

They must not wait to drive you out and then think that it was, “Good riddance to Bad Rubbish”

A little tact will get u invited back

WHEN YOU ARE SAYING BYE

  • Try to be a pleasant person, so that your host and hostess feel like inviting you again to their house.
  • While leaving, tell them that you had a lovely stay and invite them over to your house as well.
  • Maybe buy them a small gift as a token to appreciate their hospitability.
  • Make your stay with them a memorable one for both u and them.

Following these rules ensures that our social life will still remain good, following the guestbook will definitely make your hosts say “come again”.

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