Sunday, November 21, 2010

Finding Oneself

Age Group : 8 to 14 years

After walking four rounds around the big playground, I sit on one of the benches in one corner of the ground. Many people come to this playground to walk, some elderly ladies practice standing yoga asanaas in one circle and a group of children come at this time to get the coaching for the game of football. It is such a large playground that many subgroups play in the field at any point of time and many different sports - football, cricket, volleyball or just jogging around the ground. I prefer sitting close to the group of the boys, who come for the football training. One reason being, they do not hit the ball very hard so I do not have to worry about any ball coming my way, second, I like the way children try to incorporate the tips of the coaches in their game and lastly the sun rays saying farewell for the day do not aim directly at my eyes in this direction so it is easy to sit here with my hands free, one hand not doing the service of providing shade to the eyes.

This is the perfect bench in the whole playground. From here I can see the activities of the playground while appreciating the last rays of the sun warming anything and everything coming in their way for the last time before slipping down, and the warm hues bathing the rooftops of the buildings with their brightness. It appears as if after working diligently the whole day, the sun is tired and ready to retire and before bidding adieu to the world, it is inviting and introducing its twin brother to all of us for a little relaxed time before the activity starts again in the morning. Sitting here for an hour or so every evening during this time has become one of the highlights of my days.

This has been my routine since almost last six months barring those days when it is raining heavily during the evenings. The routine of rainy evenings is completely different, perhaps another story for some other time.

Since I have been a regular spectator of the football training and game, in spite of not knowing the names of most of the children, slowly I have started recognizing them. From their conversations, whatever I overhear from the distance, I know that most of these boys are between 10 to 12 years of age. All boys look almost of the same height and physical fitness except for one who is very tiny although of almost the same age group as the rest of the gang. I came to know about his age when once his grandfather was sitting next to me on the bench and as most of the elderly people do, he started the conversation with me and while talking he told me that all these children are in either fifth or sixth grade and his grandson Arun, is also in sixth grade.

But Arun clearly is the smallest and thinnest in the group and many times I notice him getting teased and bullied because of his low stature. Often the other boys try to kick the ball too high just to make fun of Arun's height or push him while trying to grab the ball in the game. These small sub-activities are not so apparent to attract attention of people (coaches or the grandfather) if they are not very keenly watching it. But Arun's subtly changing facial expressions do not go unregistered on me and I watch this happening from the outside as a mere spectator. Almost everyday, once or twice something like this happens and I can feel the pain crossing his face and eyes. Many times I feel like talking to the boys or to the coaches but then something dissuades me, not sure what. Other than this irritant and spoiler, I like watching the boys full of life playing with zest and energy, somehow it recharges me and I feel completely rejuvenated after the day's work to go back home and work some more.

Today is no different either, I completed my fixed four rounds of the playground and headed towards my favorite location - the cement bench in the corner. The boys had already completed their running routine by this time and now the coaches were forming the teams for the game of remaining 45 minutes of the training. Usually at this time I see almost all boys excitedly raising their hands up so that the coaches pick two of them to be the captains of the teams and as expected I never see Arun's hand up but strangely he raised it today and he got selected as the captain of one team. Yes, there is some difference today, my eyes followed Arun closely and keenly observing his face, I see a little peace which has replaced the fear of previous days to quite some extent. The game is on now, soon there came a very high ball straight towards Arun and he jumped a little higher than the usual and hit the ball with his head towards one of his team mates. There indeed was some change and I was getting curious by every moment to know what it was. I was extremely happy for Arun and observed that the other boys had also started appreciating his game. Then a whistle blew and half time was announced. Arun came towards me, actually not towards me exactly, his water bottle and bag were on the same bench where I was sitting. He sat for 5 minutes next to me and then ran back to join the other boys on the field. His body language was much different than the previous days. The other half time of the game went away pretty fast and Arun managed to hit two goals and their team won by 4-3. His team mates were ecstatic and they carried him on their shoulders and were clapping for him. The game was over and now the boys were relaxing, drinking water and packing their bags to head home.

Arun came to my bench again for his belongings, I could not resist to strike a conversation with him and I first congratulated him for being an awesome captain today and asked him how did he manage to come out of the fear. First he was surprised to be questioned like this by a stranger but I was not completely a stranger either so he told me, "I had come with a resolution today that I will just focus on myself and not on others or what they say or do to me. I observed that I had not been playing, I was just getting afraid of others and feeling bad about how I look. So I decided that I will not even listen to their remarks if they are about my height or me being different from them. I have been wanting to be a captain too and today I finally raised my hand and since I have never done so before, the coach gave me the chance to captain one team. This helped me in my resolve and I kept doing what I had decided." A very simple lesson learnt by a small boy and told in equally simple words to me. While telling all this to me, he was packing his bag and when he was done, he said goodbye to me and left the ground, his grandfather was waiting outside the playground for him. I kept sitting and pondering on the evening's activities for a little while longer. And I concluded, this was actually one of the most important life lessons learnt in the true sense which will be with him forever. The lesson of self-belief, determination and bringing the focus on oneself than on others. Arun had found himself today.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Thursday, October 21, 2010

do you have a broken bangle at home?

don't throw it away...

you can be a small-scale 'Nek Chand' (of 'Rock Garden' fame) too...

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

simple shell art by children...

it is amazing how small shells can be used perfectly to make some beautiful patterns... do try it..

Monday, October 4, 2010

...teaching or learning

Twinkle of eyes brings hope of a brighter tomorrow
The sparkle in them alleviate every bit of sorrow
The tiny feet anchor my feet firmly to the ground
My heart yearns to hear your footsteps sound
Soft touch reassures abundance of God's blessings
Your hands in mine make life complete and fulfilling
Unconditional smile brings a grin on my face too
Ability to laugh at ordinary events is amazing so
While trying to teach you the meaning of life
Surprisingly getting acquainted with my own life

Sunday, August 29, 2010

grant me a wish...

I'm the same demanding child yet again,
Harboring one more desire in the heart
I know I can ask, I can demand, I can request
For You are the greatest giver of all.

I yearn to be a bird, with wings giving flight to dreams,
But what kind of bird, I question myself,
May be a maina, chirping gleefully on the wall
Or a peacock fluttering elegant feathery crown
Or a bright green parrot with sparkling red beak
They all seem unique, they all seem perfect!

I yearn to be an animal, roaming in the wilderness
But what kind of animal, I question myself,
May be a fluffy snowy rabbit hopping around all day
Or a tall giraffe watching all from high up there
Or a regal lion with that majestic roar
They all seem unique, they all seem perfect!

I yearn to be a plant, grounded deeply to the Earth
But what kind of plant, I question myself,
May be a rose bush with colorful pretty flowers
Or a gigantic Banyan tree finding hard to see its ends
Or a curling twisting grape vine climbing slowly on a wall
They all seem unique, they all seem perfect!

Lord! make me anything, just give me a beautiful heart,
Which rejoices with happy, mourns with sorrowful,
Which celebrates with successful, motivates the failure,
Which applauds the uniqueness and admires Your magic.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Using the Wings

Age : 10+ years
The day was bright, the sun was in its usual regal place watching out for everybody, the gentle breeze was imparting life to everyone around, the colorful birds were making their presence felt by filling the atmosphere with their chirping. Everything was just as it should be, as it has been, as it would be perhaps. But there was some lurking fear, some corner of my heart not happy, something bothering me, some anxiety, some apprehension in my heart. I was not able to exactly place my finger on what was disturbing me but I could feel something was not right, something was not perfect. It felt like some emptiness somewhere, some fissure slowly tearing my heart apart. I was mechanically doing the daily routine tasks since last week but my soul was somewhere else, quite far from my physical body.

I got up from my desk which is against the window that gives me a beautiful view of the lawn outside and went out in the lawn. I wanted to bring a much desired interruption to my chain of thoughts which was leading me nowhere, so thought, perhaps a change of place would give me what I am looking for. I went to sit on my usual spot - the one under the mango tree and it felt good as the fresh air of early morning was working magically on my mind and body. But soon enough the same lurking fear caught me there too. I should have known. Whom am I trying to dodge - my own heart, which is with me all the time and for how long, is it even possible? So why not get comfortable with the lanes in which the heart wants to wander. I stopped fighting with it and for the time being let it take control of the feelings and mind. While sitting there totally under the heart's spell and feeling melancholy, I looked up and heard some commotion going on in the nest which the birds had built three weeks back. Since this place was my regular hangout spot, I had witnessed each and every stage of these birds - right from the diligent efforts of the maina birds collecting twigs, straws, dry grass blades and leaves to make the nest, to the egg laying and the egg hatching phases.

Now there were four baby birds in the nest and they were being provided with food at regular intervals by their parents. I had watched them doing it many times during the day. They had gradually become a part of my routine life, I enjoyed throwing a quick glance at them many times during the day or watching them for extended durations doing their duties. But today some unusual turbulence was happening in the nest, it felt like some noisy interaction going on between the nest inmates. Perhaps they also argue and disagree with each other as we humans do so often. I went inside my room and sat on the same desk again from where the nest was very clearly visible and soon enough I could see the reason for their loud chirping. It was the day when the parents were giving the baby birds the training to fly. They had set a very simple target first, one parent sat next to the nest and the other sat on the opposite branch. The one sitting next to the nest was pushing one baby bird at a time towards the opposite branch. For just a split second it felt like the baby bird would fall but then the survival instincts would kick in and they could flutter their wings to reach the opposite branch in the warmth of the parent's wings. This training session was so captivating that it was hard to take my eyes away from the scene and I earnestly watched the whole exercise of baby birds learning to fly.

At the end, the chirping grew even louder and I assumed it was the celebration time in the nest and this celebration was so well deserved.

Personally a part of me was rejoicing with them but one part was a little angry at the parents for their way of teaching the baby birds to fly. What if any of the baby birds could not make it and fell on the ground? Wasn’t it too difficult a training session for these creatures? Did the parents have no concern for their babies? But then thinking a little rationally I understood the importance of this kind of teaching. The baby birds needed to explore the world and be on their own and this training part was the most important lesson for their future life.

This small realization magically lifted the burden from my mind too as if my anxieties and fears also grew wings and were flying away. Was it the God's way to convey a message to me that I also need to explore the world on my own now and should come out of the comfort zone of the home? And going to a hostel for my higher studies is the necessary training phase of my life. Since last few days this was the thing which had been bothering me. The apprehensions of a new place, a new setup, new people, practically everything new. It is always difficult to be completely prepared for any change but then change is an inevitable thing and will happen anyway so atleast it can be approached with more positivity and more enthusiasm.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Nature - the Supreme Teacher

Age : 6+ years
From a distance it looked like a small, tiny, bright green speck on one of the branches of a huge Peepal tree. A new leaf was in the making. A new life, a new odyssey, a new journey was about to commence. It was a bright sparkling green leaf and within two days he unrolled his face towards the sun. The leaf glistened even brighter and shimmered in the rays with twinkle in the eyes. The tiny leaf was thrilled to see such beautiful world lit by shining sun all around. The dawn sun rays were slanting on the Peepal tree and were imparting a divine glow to everything that came in their fold bringing promise of a lovely day and a wonderful life. Gradually the leaf began noticing the tree he was connected to, he realized that he is a part of a huge tree, a member of a big family with many such beautiful leaves as his siblings and relatives. He was thoroughly enjoying being a part of a giant tree and to be experiencing such enchanting surroundings.

With the cheerfulness befitting a young soul as him, he got engrossed in observing and soaking up everything around him. Suddenly he heard a voice, somebody was calling him. He looked around, it was one of his relatives - a leaf just below him. But that leaf was quite unlike himself, he was all wrinkly, shriveled and almost pale yellow. The wrinkly leaf welcomed the new leaf and started talking to him as all elderly people do. They enjoy interacting with all and especially kids. The new leaf was playful and very observant too. While talking to the yellow wrinkly leaf, the young leaf asked him - "Why are you so different? Why do you have so many lines but I don't? Why do you look so shriveled?" This inquisitiveness made the wrinkly leaf laugh a little and he said, "You won't understand it now, but you will slowly come to know what these lines mean. Just keep observing things around you and you will get these same lines over a period of time."

It was spring time, the time when earth gets adorned with all fascinating new things - new baby plants raising their heads out of soil, beautiful flowers look like multicolor garlands around the necks of the plants and trees. The new leaf was feeling blessed to be a part of this big party going on in the nature. Some days passed and nature started displaying some changed colors all around, the Sun was getting more hotter, the water was less, even the soil looked very dry and cracked and the leaf felt thirsty almost all the time. Some of the little leaf's siblings and relatives were wilting, drying and dying in need of more water. But even in this scarcity, they all were trying to watch out for each other and share whatever the little water they had amongst themselves. United they stood to be of service to others forgetting about their own hardships. The little leaf learnt some most important lessons in his life during this time - sharing the limited possessions with everybody, to remain united even and especially in adversity and in spite of struggling hard to stay alive and green, the tree was always trying to be helpful to others by offering shade and resting place.
But this tough time also did not last long, soon there were gurgling and grumbling thick black clouds in the sky followed by much awaited rainfall. The parched soil got to quench its thirst to its fill and so did all the leaves, flowers, branches, stem and of course the roots. The leaf was happy for himself and for all his treemates. There was abundance of water but this was the time when they all were missing the warmth of the sunrays and then the leaf realized, it is easy to forget about the blessings when we have them. In the absence of these same blessings we tend to feel their need and value their presence in our lives.

After a couple of months it felt like the clouds have poured out all the water that they had been accumulating over time and they have no more, and the cool harsh winds started blowing and shook the trees hard. It was the dreadful time for all the leaves, especially the older ones because they were being shook vigorously by the winds and even after striving hard, they were not able to hold onto the tree. The leaf which was no longer a little leaf himself could see a lot of empty spaces being created on the grand Peepal tree, ready to welcome a new cycle of life, some new leaves and their new journeys. And on one such rough day the young leaf's first pal, the elderly leaf also bowed down to these mighty winds. The little leaf looked at the yellow leaf lying lifeless on the ground and felt a deep personal loss. While going down, the wrinkly yellow leaf asked the little leaf to now look at himself and see how many lines has he developed. The leaf did the same and was shocked to see almost the same kind of lines and wrinkles on his own face as he had noticed on the elderly leaf when he had just arrived on the tree.

The leaf was adequately equipped to comprehend everything, his own experiences had been his teacher all through. He was feeling honored to have these wrinkles as they signified his maturity over time. These were the lines of wisdom, of gain, of loss, of togetherness, of separation, of abundance, of scarcity, of life and of death. The leaf had the poise to appreciate the great inevitable changes in nature, one life making room for another for the larger betterment and growth. The leaf felt enriched and complete. These experiences were his prized treasures and the life lessons that he learnt were priceless.

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Quiz : The Berenstain Bears On the Moon

1. Where were the Bear cubs planning to go ?
(a) to another island (b) to the moon (c) in space (d) on Mars

2. Who all went to with the Bear cubs?
(a) their pup (b) their parents (c) two pups (d) they went alone

3. Which shower did they see there ?
(a) water shower (b) comet shower (c) light shower (d) meteor shower

4. What was their slogan?
(a) to the moon or bust (b) to the moon and back (c) to the moon (d) to the moon and Mars

5. In which cloud did they land?
(a) white cloud (b) dust cloud (c) grey cloud (d) red cloud
6. What was written on their flag?
(a) America (b) Earth (c) Bear Country (d) Country Bear

7. What did they collect in their bags?
(a) some dust (b) some rocks (c) some notes (d) nothing

8. How did they explore the place?
(a) on a bike (b) in a moonbike (c) on a buggy (d) on a cart

9. While coming back, who landed first from the rocket?
(a) Pup (b) Brother Bear (c) Sister Bear (d) their bag

Key : 1(b), 2(b), 3(d), 4(a), 5(b), 6(c), 7(b), 8(b), 9(b)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Quiz : The Berenstain Bears Learn to Share

1. Who is Sister's favourite playmate?
(a) Brother (b) Sister herself (c) a doll (d) Lizzy Bruin

2. Who does Sister invite for tea?
(a) her friends (b) her dolls (c) her parents (d) her Brother

3. How many dolls were there in the tea party?
(a) 1 (b) 2 (c) 3 (d) 4

4. What was the colour of her truck?
(a) red (b) pink (c) blue (d) brown

5. Which was her pull-toy?
(a) a frog (b) a snake (c) a duck (d) a baby
6. When does Sister share her things?
(a) when she is angry (b) when she is bored (c) when her parents tell her to share (d) when her teacher tells her to do

7. Which game does Brother and Sister don't play together?
(a) checkers (b) beanbags (c) pick-up-sticks (d) chess

8. Whose bike does Sister ride?
(a) Borther's (b) Bob's (c) Liz's (d) Clem's
9. Among Sister's friends, who has a cat?
(a) Millie (b) Mike (c) Anna May (d) Nat

10. Which ball game do all Bears play?
(a) football (b) Baseball (c) Basketball (d) Cricket

Key : 1(b), 2(c), 3(c), 4(a), 5(c), 6(b), 7(b), 8(b), 9(a), 10(b)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Quiz : Arthur's Classroom Fib

Title : Arthur's Classroom Fib

1. What was the name of the teacher?
(a) Mr. Ratcold (b) Mr. Ratburn (c) Mr. Ratfun (d) Mr. Ratfur

2. What was the homework given to the class?
(a) to write about their summer vacation
(b) to write about their country
(c) to write about their families
(d) to write about the school

3. Where did Francine go during the summer?
(a) around the world (b) to Disney World (c) to tennis camp (d) to Egypt

4. What does 'fib' mean ?
(a) truth (b) lie (c) game (d) play

5. What was the name of Arthur's new baby sister?
(a) baby D.W. (b) baby Arthur (c) baby sister (d) baby Kate

6. Where did Binky go during summers ?
(a) around the world (b) to Disney World (c) to tennis camp (d) to computer camp

7. Who went around the world on a ship in summers ?
(a) Muffy (b) Brain (c) Francine (d) Buster

8. What did Francine win in the tennis camp?
(a) a silver medal (b) a gold medal (c) a silver cup (d) a gold cup

9. Who visited White House in summers?
(a) Francine (b) Muffy (c) Buster (d) Binky

10. Where did Arthur go on Sundays during the summer holidays ?
(a) to the beach (b) to the library (c) to the basketball camp (d) to the tennis camp

Key : 1(b), 2(a), 3(c), 4(b), 5(d), 6(b), 7(a), 8(d), 9(c), 10(a)

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Quiz : Franklin's Blanket

Title : Franklin's Blanket

1. What was the colour of Franklin's Blanket?
(a) green (b) red (c) blue (d) purple

2. Where did Franklin keep his blanket usually ?
(a) on the bed (b) in top drawer (c) on the floor (d) on the table

3. What did Franklin's papa give him when Franklin was not able to find his blanket?
(a) a new blanket (b) his old yellow blanket (c) an old sweater (d) a toy

4. Where did Franklin go in search of his blanket? Put in correct sequence.
(a) to the fox (b) to the Beaver (c) to the Bear

5. Where was Franklin's blanket found?
(a) under the bed (b) under the table (c) under the chair (d) on the table

6. What came out of the blanket ?
(a) brussels sprouts (b) spinach (c) cabbage (d) nuts

7. What does 'amazement' mean?
(a) happy (b) excited (c) sad (d) surprised

8. What didn't Franklin's mother like to eat?
(a) cabbage (b) spinach (c) brussels sprouts (d) broccoli

9. What didn't Franklin's father like to eat?
(a) cabbage (b) asparagus (c) broccoli (d) brussels sprouts

10. What did Beaver give Franklin when Franklin was looking for his blanket?
(a) his own blanket (b) a new blanket (c) his Teddy (d) a new toy

Key : 1 (c), 2(b), 3 (b), 4 (c,a,b), 5(c), 6(a), 7(d), 8(d), 9(b), 10 (c)

Quiz : The Magic Fish

Starting a new section on Literary Siesta.
These days children are reading plethora of story books. To encourage effective reading among children, I have started quizzing my children on the books they read. Since I am making these multiple-choice questions on the books they are reading, thought of sharing it here so that other children can be benefitted from these too.

Title : The Magic Fish

Author : Freya LittleDale

1. Where did the old fisherman and his wife live?

(a) a house (b) a palace (c) a log hut (d) an old hut

2. Who was the fish really?

(a) a magic lady (b) a prince (c) a queen (d) a king

3. What was the first wish of the fisherman's wife ?

(a) a pretty house (b) a castle (c) to be queen of the land (d) none of these

4. Which fisherman's wife's wish was not fulfilled by the fish?

(a) to have a castle

(b) to be the queen of the land

(c) to be the queen of the sun, the moon and the stars

(d) to have a pretty house

5. What was the color of the magic fish?

(a) red (b) blue (c) yellow (d) orange

6. Who accompanied the fisherman everytime he went to the sea to ask a wish from the magic fish?

(a) his cat (b) his dog (c) his wife (d) his pig

KEY : 1 (d), 2 (b), 3 (a), 4(c), 5(c), 6(b)
Happy Quiz Time !!!

Stay tuned for more quizzes, more fun...

Friday, July 2, 2010

ode to mother's bangles

Tinkling Jingling my mother's six gold bangles
Not one more not even one less, just six bangles
No time, day or year makes any change in the bangles
They remain there the same six gold bangles

The first ever sound of this world that I realized
Perhaps the only sound in this world that I recognized
First sound which seeps into my ears with the promise of dawn
Also the last sound which soothes me down till my last yawn

I may not pay attention to them keenly during the day
But I'm sure they are very much there in my life day after day
I can feel them working in the temple getting ready to pray
I know they are silent asking for beautiful God's ray

They accompany her in the kitchen, adding flavor in our lives
Working diligently with pans, plates, cookers, dishes and knives
Sure there is some great magic that they weave in our lives
For she is the charioteer and the household she drives

They get silent for brief spells when they are peering into a book
But sometimes they are very swift when she has a worried look
Sometimes they are very rhythmic, oh! Ironing work they took
Random arrhythmic sounds convey some insect got a shook

If I join them in groups, all in all they make three pairs
They are beautiful wherever they are, no not elsewhere
The solace that I hear from them, I dare not compare
My world is safe, my world is secure I know they are there

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Picture Perfect

Age : 6+ years
While cooking dinner, I heard something - has it arrived already? Did my ears hear the correct sound, or was it just the imagination of my mind? I ran out to the balcony to check and yes, the sky was overcast and it was actually the thundering that I had heard and soon enough big raindrops started plopping from the heavens above. The first showers of the monsoon - the irresistible sight. There is something magical about the first rain of the season which brings me out to watch. So continuing with this lovely routine, I left my cooking in the middle, quickly made a big cup of tea for myself and took my easy chair out in the balcony. It didn't take long before I got completely immersed in watching the raindrops washing the dust off the leaves, landing on the metal railing, falling on the parched ground where the dry soil seemed to just hide the raindrops in its folds as if it was not ready to exhibit its possession to the world. It will do so, but not yet, it needs to soak the drops in first, to quench the thirst of the innumerable creatures inside its layers that have been waiting for this day.

While sitting on the easy chair, umpteen memories of such rainy days went through my mind and I was just relishing everything - the time, the tea, the thoughts and most of all the rain.
I was so deeply absorbed in listening to my own thoughts that it took a while to register that a big group of little children had come in front of my balcony and were dancing and playing in the rain. Their loud peels of laughter interrupted my chain of thought but nothing seems to bother me when it is raining and soon I found myself relishing the sight of little children getting drenched in the first showers. These were the same children who occasionally came to me to ask for some help in their studies when their parents were not around or to just talk, or if nothing else some of them just came to sit on my computer chair - the big chair which gave them an emperor kind feel, the wheels gave the mobility and spin, in short - a mini merry-go-round thrill. But that day none of them wanted to be indoors. While completely soaked up in watching them, suddenly my eyes fell on a window of a home which was in front of my balcony, normally the doors and windows of which are closed, but that day, there was somebody sitting near the window and watching the dancing children. It looked like a small girl of 5 or 6 years. I saw some from the group of playing children waving at her while dancing in the rain, which meant they knew her. Then why was she not joining her friends in the rain? This thought crossed my mind but did not bother me and I soon forgot about it.

All of a sudden the playing children made a circle and joined their heads together as if brainstorming on some issue, perhaps thinking about a new way to make their playtime more interesting. But I saw them running inside the building and I heard a loud knock at my door. I opened the door and saw all of them standing in front of me. And together they started requesting me to allow them to take the computer chair out - the big chair with the wheels. I was not happy with their demand of giving them my chair in this kind of weather and I was wondering why even they asked for such a thing. But something (the rain I guess), made me not decline their peculiar request and to my own surprise I permitted them to take the computer chair for a little while. I thought they would take turns in sitting on it and the others would spin the chair to have more fun. But they actually did not come back in front of the balcony and disappeared somewhere else. I was silently scolding myself for having giving in to the irrational demand of the children and was a little apprehensive that I would get a spoilt soggy chair which would not be usable for many days. But once again I was startled by even louder cheerful cries of the children and what I saw was unbelievable. The child sitting on the chair was the girl who was sitting in her window watching the playing children a little while ago. But this time she had a lovely bright smile on her face. After looking closely at her, I noticed that she had a very heavy boot on one of her feet and some metal rods were going up from that boot. The purpose of earnest need of the computer chair now dawned on me.

The scene was complete and the picture was perfect now! No yearning in any heart, no guilt in any heart and I thanked God that He did not make me think miserly while agreeing to the demand of the children. And my computer chair found the best use that day.

Friday, April 23, 2010

new addition in scrapbooks...


cricket world cup 2011 mascot

Saturday, April 3, 2010

summer vacation activities...

ipl season is on...


Thursday, April 1, 2010

foray into cartooning...

Some pages from my son's scrapbook... trying cartooning...

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tale of a Tail

Age : 4+ years

Do you have any idea how difficult God's job is and that God also gets tired doing his chores the whole day!!! His chores include - deciding about what to place where , what structures and figures to be assigned to all living things, same for non-living things, how to differentiate between various organisms, to decide about the life spans of living beings, their activities while they live on the earth, their aging process, how will they function and so on the list goes on and on… I think, you got an idea...

One day in the very beginning of the formation of earth when all living and non-living things were created, he was resting peacefully very happy with his origination of natural things - mountains, hills, valleys, rivers, oceans, forests and plants. But regarding the living beings who can move, God was still deciding about some of the finishing touches to be put on them. He was still deeply thinking about the finer details, but while thinking and deciding, he got really confused between all the creatures and was not able to remember how do some species exactly looked. So he called one representative of each kind for a special meeting at his place.

A messenger was soon sent across to inform all the living organisms about the special meeting that was scheduled. On the designated day and time, one representative from each species arrived and all were very anxious to know the purpose of this meeting with God, all of a sudden.

Many of God's helpers were inviting and directing the guests to a big guest room and making them comfortable in their seats. After having made them sit, the guests were given God's message that he will be deciding about some of the final features for each tribe and one of those features would be a tail. Till that time no living creature had any tail. All the guests were surprised to hear about tail and they wondered why to have a tail - another burden to carry somewhere on the body.

The messengers left leaving the guests talking in whispers amongst them. In the guest room, there were large number of huge tables and a grand feast was organized on those tables - all kinds of fruits, vegetables, sweets, sour things, salty things and all possible kinds of everything that is available in the world. But the guests did not have the courage to eat anything without the permission of God so they were sitting and waiting for the God.

But God was still not sure what should be the criteria to decide about the tail, he was deep in thought and hence was getting delayed to go in the guest room. Just to see what all of his guests are upto, he took his invisible form - in which he can watch everything and entered the guest room.
I am sure you are aware of his invisible form as this is the form in which he watches us all the time.

So he was there yet unseen by all. He watched how the creatures started whispering to each other when his message about the tails was read out to them, and slowly they were getting restless just waiting and waiting. They all had the grand feast in front of them and they all were getting hungry also. This gave God a brilliant idea for the criteria to assign a tail and specific size of the tail to the creatures. He started watching them very closely and witnessed their increasing restlessness every minute.

Initially all the guests were displaying self-control but then some started getting extremely hungry and hence restless. Slowly some of the animals started nibbling on the their favourite foods which were in front of their eyes. Some were still trying to control the hunger pangs and temptation of delicious food and were waiting for the permission of the God. Some animals like cheetah, tiger and lion were very smart, they secretly grabbed some very small animals (who were among the guests) , silently slipped out of the big guest room and gobbled those small creatures up.

After having watched everything that was going on in that guest room, God appeared in front of them and everybody could see him. He greeted all the guests first, then he wondered aloud that a major portion of food was already eaten and also some guests were missing. So he asked them who ate the food and his tiny guests.
The guests were too petrified to confess, some creatures totally denied having eaten anything, some lied about the amount they ate whereas some told the truth.

Suddenly something strange started happening with some animates. Some of the guests started getting tails on their backs. For some, the tails grew little and stopped shortly but for some it grew and grew and grew. But there were some who did not get anything on their behinds.

Then God explained to all his guests the reason behind the appearance of tails and the burden which they will have to carry from now on - the burden of own deeds. Now it was not difficult to understand - no tail means no lie, shorter tails mean less lie and longer tails mean big lies. One human representative was also there and he had displayed great self restraint and did not lie when later asked by the God. Thanks to him, we do not have any tails. So is true about those tiny animals (like bats and frogs) which were secretly wiped out by seemingly very smart lion, tiger and cheetah. But these same animals - tiger, lion and cheetah got very long tails.

So using this criteria God assigned tails to the moving living creatures.

Since God is present everywhere all the time, do not make him change his decision about us humans. Because who knows some day he may notice you telling lies and then he may want to put a tail on your behind too and then that tail will tell the story of your deeds to everybody.

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