Saturday, December 12, 2009

Love Increases by Giving

Age : 4+ years
Sumi and Renu are not talking to each other, everyone in the community seems to be talking about just that. It is indeed a surprising event because as far as people can remember, they have always seen Sumi and Renu fondly playing with each other or talking or studying together. Since the time when the two families moved in this community, Sumi and Renu have been inseparable, they both were 4 years old at that time. They are in the same school and in the same class too. This Diwali, they will complete 5 years of their friendship and moving in their current homes. It seems, the time has just flown away or may be all good times do.

But the two best friends are not to be seen together any more. What could be the matter? Parents in both the homes want to ask them but at the same time they want the girls to solve the matter amongst themselves. But this is not destined to be. Three days have passed and still they are not acknowledging even the presence of each other. Where have the happy faces of both these friends gone?

Now Sumi's mother cannot wait any longer for things to come back to normal as it is obviously disturbing Sumi and Renu both too much. She decides to talk to Sumi after she comes back from school.

In the evening, she calls Sumi and asks her, "Sumi, is something the matter between you and Renu? If something is bothering you, talk it over and try to sort it out."

Sumi says, "Mummy, it all started when two weeks back, a new girl - Sudha, took admission in our school and in our class. Sudha is a nice girl and since she has joined in the middle of the session, so she needed help to cover up the portions that we have already done in the school. Our class teacher told me to sit with Sudha so that she is able to understand the things easily and during the free time, she can copy the previous work."

Mummy says, "That is good, you should always help others. But how is this related to problem between you and Renu.?"
Sumi says, "Mummy, Renu does not like that I am sitting with Sudha all the time and even in the free time I am helping her instead of spending time with her. She thinks that I am doing it on purpose and I want to avoid her to be with Sudha more. I have tried to make her understand many times that our friendship does not get affected by my helping anybody else or she doing the same for others. But since last week she has stopped talking to me and that made me also angry and now I also don't want to talk to her or be with her."

Now Sumi's mother understood the whole problem. She asked Sumi to get ready to go to Renu's home for some time. Renu's mother was very happy to see them. When all four of them were sitting in the living room, Sumi's mother asked Renu and Sumi both to bring a rose flower from the garden.
They both did as they were told
and brought a beautiful rose. She told Renu to keep the flower in one corner of the room. She kept it in one corner, behind the door and came back. Then Sumi's mother asked, you have kept the flower in one corner where you cannot even see it, but now can you keep the fragrance of the flower also restricted to that corner. Both Sumi and Renu said no as the whole room was filled with the fragrance already. Sumi's mother told them, love and affection are like fragrance of a flower. It has the ability to give joy to all. Love does not become less by sharing, on the contrary, it increases manifolds by giving and sharing it with more and more people. Why do both of you want to keep your loving and helping nature to just two of you. Let others get benefit from it as well. Sumi and Renu both understood the point and then Renu confessed that she was getting jealous of having to share her friend's time with Sudha. But now she realized that she was trying to hold the love and affection tightly to herself. When she started thinking on these lines, all of a sudden all the anger which had accumulated in her, vanished and she was happy again. From next day in the school, they both tried their best to help Sudha catch up with the school work.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Pleasure Of Journey

Age : 6+ years
It’s a chilly mid-December morning in Delhi. Bhanu wakes up early in the morning and starts his day with a little heaviness in his mind. What will happen today! He is regretting very badly that he dozed off to sleep at 12:00 am at night when he had planned to stay awake for two more hours. He had to finish revising a few more things that he had planned for those two hours. He is feeling very bad about the work that he could not do the previous night and already it is giving a little headache to him, which he is sure will increase by the end of the day. But no point thinking about it right now when he has to get ready to go to school. From today the half-yearly examinations are starting. This is the crucial year when he is going to appear in his first board examinations of tenth standard. He has been a good student throughout his school years but tenth class is always a different experience. The pressure that is being associated with the board examinations and the further admissions based on the exam results, sufficient reasons to create anxiety in any student. He wants to be a scientist and for that he wants to take science subjects after tenth and that too in the best college in the town. For that, he needs extremely good score and this aim is keeping him awake late nights preparing for the exams. The half-yearly exams are just for the namesake, but all the syllabus has already been covered in the school and the whole three months, that are left before the final board exams will be devoted to revising the syllabus over and over again and trying out all possible kinds of questions from those portions.

Bhanu has good support at home in the sense that his elder brother helps him in studies whenever Bhanu has any doubt and his parents are providing all the comforts to both the boys so that they concentrate on their studies with focused mind. Their parents do not pressurize them, they know that the boys are responsible enough and are doing their best already. But one thing is bothering them about Bhanu, he is under too much pressure just thinking about what will happen if he gets a little less marks and is not able to secure a seat in a good college or is not able to get science subjects. This mind set and tension of Bhanu is increasing day by day. They have discussed it among themselves many times but never talked to Bhanu about it. But since the half-yearly exams have been scheduled, they are noticing that Bhanu is so tensed that it has started affecting his health also, he is loosing his appetite and complains of headaches more often. His father decides that once half-yearly exams are over, he will have a frank conversation with Bhanu and will try to tell him to relax a little bit. So after a week the exams got over. In the school, the Christmas break started and students were expected to study hard during these holidays to get ready for the pre-board examinations in February and then final board examinations in March.

One Sunday during the Christmas holidays, Bhanu's father takes him to a nearby park and there he starts telling him a story about an ant who used to work very hard every day. The ant used to climb a very tall tree everyday and get some bits of fruits from the tree to its an
thill. The noteworthy quality that ant had was that it never looked at the top of the tree before starting its tough climb, it always looked at 5-6 steps ahead and kept working hard on those, climbing one step at a time. Then Bhanu's father asked him a question, what would have happened, if the ant had seen the tall tree before starting to climb? Bhanu thought for some time and then gave the answer that if he had looked at the tall tree before even starting the climb, it would have got worried whether it would be able to make it to the top or not. The ant would have got a little discouraged or would have doubted its ability to do such ardous task. While answering this question, he slowly realized why his father was telling him this story and what is the significance of the question and the answer. It all started making a lot of sense to him too. He thought, if I keep getting tensed about the outcome of the examinations, I will not be able to perform as well as I would if I just concentrate on the work in hand. He felt very relaxed after understanding the point that his father wanted to make. The journey should become more enjoyable. He was doing the "working hard" part, very well, only change that he needs to bring was to enjoy it, without worrying about what will happen later. Just changing the thought process makes a lot of difference. His father was very happy that Bhanu could see the importance of getting pleasure from the journey itself rather than worrying about the results.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Being truthful to oneself

Age : 4+ years

Vasu is studying in eighth grade and he is very good in studies. He listens to his teachers in the class very attentively and studies well at home too. His mother helps him with studies at home. He always stands first in his class. One day he had the final exam of mathematics and he had prepared it very thoroughly. His parents knew that since he works so hard he will score full marks in mathematics. When he was in the examination hall, he started answering the questions one by one very neatly in his answer sheet. He already knew those questions so he was very happy. But when he looked at the last question in the question paper, he was shocked, he did not know anything about that question and did not know what to do. He was getting restless as he was expecting to score full marks in this exam. He was thinking and looking around and somehow he managed to look at the answer sheet of another student who had done that particular question. He got tempted to copy the same answer on his own answer sheet, he started doing that also. But then he remembered one thing that his mother always told him, be truthful to yourself first and then to others. He realized that by copying this answer he is not being truthful as he is giving an impression that he knows that question himself but the truth is - he does not know how to solve that question. He immediately felt very relieved and erased what he had already copied and started checking the other answers that he had already written on the answer sheet. He felt extremely confident that what he did was the right thing to do. He came home and told the whole sequence of events to his parents. They were very proud of Vasu and told him that what he did was the only way of doing it right. They were more happy now than if he had cheated and got full score.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

God is Watching

Age : 4+ years
Anay and Bansi are very good friends. They study in the same class. They are neighbours too. They walk to their school together and enjoy each others company a lot. Everyday in the evening, they play together in the playground. Anay is very hard working boy and does his work in school very sincerely. He has beautiful handwriting. All the teachers like him a lot. He and his work is appreciated by all his teachers.

Bansi is also a good boy but he is very careless in doing his work. He understands everthing nicely but when he does his written work, he is always in a hurry to finish it off soon so that he gets free time. This makes his work messy and handwriting bad.

One day, in the school, the teacher gave a project to write about the wild animals, to the whole class which they had to submit the after five days. All the students were working hard to make their project report more beautiful. Finally it was the day to submit the project. On that day Anay fell sick and was in no condition to go to school himself. Since it was the last day to submit the project, he was very worried. His mother thought of an idea that since Bansi is going to school so he can take Anay's project also with him. His mother took Anay's project in the morning to give it to Bansi so that he takes it school. Bansi was happy to take Anay's project for the submission. While walking to the school, out of curiosity, he opened Anay's project. When he saw Anay's beautiful handwriting and how neatly he had done his work, he realized how bad his own project looks in comparison to Anay's project work. He felt jealous of Anay and at that moment, he wanted to spoil Anay's project a little bit so that it does not look perfect. He took some mud in his hands and smeared it on Anay's project. Now it was looking muddy and dirty.

In the school, Bansi submitted both the projects to the teacher.

When the teacher started giving marks to the students for their project works, she was surprised to see Anay's work dirty. She knew that Anay's work was always the best then she remembered that Bansi had brought Anay's project and she thought, he must have dropped it while bringing it to the school. So she gave the maximum marks to Anay for his project work and for his sincerity to do everything beautifully. For Bansi's project work, she gave him very less marks as it was as usual, very badly done and that too in very bad handwriting.

Even though Bansi thought that he was intelligent enough to spoil Anay's work when no body was watching him. There is God, who is watching each and every action of all and He does not let anyone down who does good work and does not let anyone get away by doing wrong things. So before thinking of acting wrongly, remind yourself that God's eyes are on each one of us always.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Make your heart bigger and feel the happiness

Age : 4+ years

Amit was a 6 years old boy, who was very cheerful and friendly. He enjoyed doing different activities and visiting different places with his parents. Because of his friendly and cheerful nature, he had many friends around his home and in his school. A new family moved in their neighbourhood and in that family, there was a boy of same age as Amit, his name was Vinay. Amit and Vinay soon became best of buddies. They played together on the swings, sometimes on the slides or in the sand. They always liked doing outdoor activities together. Everybody in the neighbourhood knew about their friendship. Amit had many toys at home and out of them he had one small red car which was very dear to him. He always played with this car at home. Even while sleeping he always kept it near his pillow. As is the case with other children, this toy was much special to him compared to other toys he had.

One day Vinay came to play with Amit at his home for the first time. When Vinay saw that red car, he started playing with that car. Amit did not like Vinay touching his favourite car; he did not say anything to him but wanted Vinay to leave soon. When Vinay felt that Amit is not interested in playing with him, he got bored playing by himself and left to play at his own home. Amit's mother noticed this. She did not scold Amit or even talk about this behaviour of his. She had never seen Amit behave like this with his best friend. After a few days Vinay again came to play with Amit at his home and again the same thing happened. Amit was very disinterested when Vinay started playing with his red car. This time Amit's mummy observed it very closely and realized that Amit actually does not want to share his favourite toy with his best friend. She thought of a way to handle this problem. The next day, she invited Vinay to play with Amit again at Amit's home. Before Vinay came, she sat with Amit and very lovingly started talking to him and while talking Amit opened up and told his mother that he liked his red car so much that he does not like when anybody else even touches it, even if it is his best friend Vinay. Mummy told Amit, “Amit, tomorrow Vinay is again coming to play with you, try one thing. This time try to make your heart a little bigger so that when Vinay plays with your favourite toy, you enjoy the happiness your toy is bringing for Vinay. Try it once, if you do not like it, do not share your car with him ever. But atleast try to get that feeling once." Amit agreed and promised his mother that he will try to do what his mummy had said, atleast once. So the next day when Vinay came to play again, even though Amit was reluctant initially, he tried to be happy with the game Vinay was playing with the red car. Slowly Amit also got involved in that game and in no time both of them were happily playing with their red car. This time, both the friends were happy that they had such nice play time together. When Vinay left, mummy again came to talk to Amit and asked him how he felt today. Amit told his mother that even though he did not like Vinay touching his red car initially, but then he tried to feel and enjoy the happiness of Vinay and slowly it was more enjoyable when they were playing the game together rather than when he plays with his red car alone. It was just a matter of how narrow or broad we make our heart to be. Just a little thought changes everything. If we make our heart big, it will feel the happiness of others and will become even bigger. On the other hand, the narrow heart can only contain a little happiness. So by keeping the heart small, we starve it for happiness.

Atleast try to get this feeling once, make your heart bigger.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Who is Bigger

Age : 2+ years
One day a crow and a sparrow started fighting. Crow said that he is bigger than the sparrow and the sparrow said that he is bigger than the crow. While they were fighting on this issue, a rabbit came that way and he asked them what is the issue of their fight. They both told him about their dispute and they asked the rabbit to decide who does he think is the bigger one. But the rabbit said you both are small, I am bigger than both of you and then all three of them started fighting on the same issue about who is the biggest one amongst them. Then a cat came that way and she asked the sparrow , crow and the rabbit about their fight and when she came to know about the issue, she said, all three of you are smaller than me, I am the biggest one and now all four - sparrow, crow, rabbit and cat started fighting. Then came a dog and the same thing was repeated again and now all five animals were fighting. While they were fighting, a fox came that way and she came to know about the reason of their fight. As fox is a very clever and intelligent animal, she thought that if they keep fighting like this, they will never be able to play together and enjoy so she gave them a very wise advice. She told them that whoever doesn't fight is actually the bigger one, no matter how big or small that animal is physically. So if any of you want to be really big then that animal should stop fighting and start playing with others. All the five animals liked this suggestion and they stopped fighting and started playing and enjoying with each other.

Crops rescued by birds

Age : 2+ years

Once upon a time, there was a boy Raju. He lived in a village with his parents. His father had a small piece of land on which he grew crops. He was a very hard working person. He always had very good crops and the money was sufficient for all of them to live a good life. When Raju was 15 years old, his parents got really sick and were not able to do any work. During that year, the whole responsibility of the field came on Raju. He used to go to school in the morning and after coming back from school, worked in the fields. With his hard work, he had a good crop that year. Around his field, there were many mango trees and many birds had made their nests in those trees. When the crops were ready, the birds used to peck on the grains. Raju never shooed them away as he used to feel happy that the birds are getting their food from his field and anyway, how much can the tiny birds eat. Rather he used to watch them with delight. The birds also noticed this and they were not scared of Raju, they pecked on the grains everyday and go back to their nests to feed their little babies. This went on for a month. One night when everyone was fast asleep, the bird heard some noises from Raju's fields.

They were surprised to see that some donkeys had entered Raju's fields and were fighting there, and while fighting with each other they were just trampling on the ready crops of Raju. The birds felt bad and wanted to save Raju's crops, so they all got together and went near Raju's hut and started chirping in their most shrill voices. Raju and his parents woke up and went out to see what was happening. When they saw donkeys in their field, Raju ran with a long stick and made the donkeys leave his field. He was really thankful to the little birds for saving his hard work.

Even the small creatures know how to repay the kindness.
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