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.
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