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31 December, 2015

Happy New Year 2016

 New Year is not about changing the Dates but Direction; 

It’s not about changing the Calendar but Commitment;

It’s not about changing the Actions but Attitude; 

It’s not about changing the Fruit but Faith, Force and Focus!
 
May you Commit and Create the best New Year ever!
 
HAPPY NEW YEAR 2016


12 December, 2015

2-3 Liner Short Stories

1) She was very excited today, after all the school was re-opening after a long summer break.
Now, once again, she could start selling stationery at the traffic signal to feed her family.

2) She, a renowned artist and a strict mother, often scolded her 6-year-old son for he could never draw a line straight.
As he breathed slowly into the ventilator, she begged him to make one more crooked line on the ECG.

3) "Everyone goes with the flow…but the one who goes against it becomes someone remarkable.”
Before I could explain this to the traffic police, the man issued me a Fine.

4) Their love was different; She was happy every time he kicked her in the stomach.
Every time he kicked she loved him more. She waited for the time she would hold her baby for the first time.

5) "Don’t go out now. It’s not safe. You don’t know how cruel men are,” said the husband to his wife who was about to step out of the house.
She smiled, looked at him with a swollen black eye – his gift to her from the night before and asked, “How much worse can they be ?"

6) Two men fought, we cheered.
They kissed, we jeered.

7) All my toys are yours,
read her brother’s death note.

8) The hook in the door caught her sari and ripped it apart. She turned around and slapped the guy behind her.
He couldn't express his innocence; he had suffered for being mute.

9) I can’t believe my neighbor had the nerve to knock on my door at 3:30 AM in the morning.
Luckily for him, I was still playing my drums.

10) They took his father,
and only returned a flag.

11) Her step father pushed her after taking her to a height, despite her ceaseless pleading and requests.
The little girl enjoyed a swing for the first time.

12) He snatched my child from me and I cried that day.
But those were tears of joy that a mother would eventually shed one day!

13) He couldn't believe his eyes, he had just won the lottery and could now repay the loans he took from those who threatened him in the morning.
As his eyes closed slowly, he wished he hadn't taken poison an hour ago.

14) At 23, I became a mother of one; at 27 I became a mother of two; and today, at 55, I have become a mother of three!
My son got married today, and brought home his wife!

15) “Born to rich parents, this boy is so lucky,” exclaimed the neighbors!
Somewhere in heaven, three unborn sisters cried.

16) I watched him searching for me, his shadow approaching closer and I crouched behind the car.
But then he found me and shouted, “I caught you! In the next game you should become the seeker.”

17) “You ruined my career, I was supposed to be an executive director,” she thought to herself.
The little angel held her finger tightly and she forgot everything; A mother was born.

18) Once a 5-year-old boy was standing barefoot in the shallow water of the ocean.
He was repeating the same sentence to the waves – “Even if you touch my feet a thousand times, I won’t forgive you for taking my parents away.”

19) The little kid had to stay in jail for quite some time, only to see his house burned down after his release.
The Monopoly board game got a little tricky at times

Afterlife

Thane Chiquinho Scarpa, a wealthy Brazilian businessman stirred a wave of negative reactions when he announced on his Facebook page that he plans to bury his beloved Bentley Continental Flying Spur.

Chiquinho Scarpa, 62, said he would bury his £310,000 (€367,220) Bentley so that he would be able to drive it in the afterlife.

He explained that he has taken inspiration from Egyptian Pharaohs, who were buried with their most precious belongings, and promised he would entomb the Bentley by the end of the week (Sept 2013).

He even posted photos of himself digging a hole for the car in the yard of his Sao Paulo mansion, triggering a wide range of reactions on the social network website. Obviously, most of the reactions were negative towards the eccentric Scarpa, labeling him as a crazy person who wants to do something absurd instead of donating the car for charity.

When it came time to bury his car, Thane Scarpa invited the media so they could be in attendance to watch the car’s funeral. As the car was going into the grave, he had the ceremony stopped.

That’s when he came back with this twist ending of a speech:

"People have condemned me for trying to bury a million dollar Bentley. The fact is, most people bury something a lot more valuable than my car. People bury hearts, livers, lungs, eyes, and kidneys. This is absurd. There are so many people out there waiting for a transplant and you will bury healthy organs that can save so many lives. This is the biggest waste in the world. My Bentley is worthless in comparison to life giving organs. There is no wealth more valuable than an organ, because there is nothing more valuable than life. I officially announce I am an organ donor this week. I’m an organ donor, are you? Tell your family."

Moments before lowering the car in the ground he revealed his genuine motive. To create awareness for organ donation.

Well done Mr. Scarpa.

For all those wondering whether he had buried the Bentley or not?

No! He didn't bury his car. After all it would be idiotic to bury such a nice car.

​Organ donations to Brazilian Association of Organ Transplantation increased by 31.5% in 1 month of campaign.

God's Cake

Sometimes we wonder, "What did I do to deserve this?" or "Why did God have to do this to me?"  Here is a wonderful explanation!

A daughter is telling her Mother how everything is going wrong, she's failing algebra, her boyfriend broke up with her and her best friend is moving away.

Meanwhile, her Mother is baking a cake and asks her daughter if she would like a snack, and the daughter says, "Absolutely Mom, I love your cake."

"Here, have some cooking oil," her Mother offers.

"Yuck" says her daughter.

"How about a couple raw eggs?"

"Gross, Mom!"

"Would you like some flour then?  Or maybe baking soda?"

"Mom, those are all yucky!"

To which the mother replies, "Yes, all those things seem bad all by themselves. But when they are put together in the right way, they make a wonderfully delicious cake".

God works the same way.  Many times we wonder why He would let us go through such bad and difficult times.  But God knows that when He puts these things all in His order, they always work for good!  We just have to trust Him and, eventually, they will all make something wonderful.

God is crazy about you.  He sends you flowers every spring and a sunrise every morning.  Whenever you want to talk, He'll listen.  He can live anywhere in the universe, and He chose your heart.

Life may not be the party we expected... but while we are here we might as well dance.

21 November, 2015

Mahabharata Unravelled

Dev was finally there, Kurukshetra, the ground where the great war of Mahabharata was fought. He wanted to make it his life’s work to study and write about the epic. He also knew that it was not possible till he went to the spot where the greatest war took place. It was said in the texts that eighty percent of the fighting male population of the civilization was wiped out in the eighteen days of the war.

He stood on the ground, the sun overhead; it was hot, the wind hiding the far reaches of the grounds with columns of dust. He looked around and wondered if the war really happened, if the ground beneath him had soaked all that blood, if the great Pandavas and Krishna stood where he stood.
 
“You will never know the truth about that!” said an aging soft voice.
 
Dev turned around to find an Old man in saffron robes appearing out of a column of dust. He had a long white beard and eyes that could settle an indignant storm.

“I know you are here to find out about the Kurukshetra war, but you cannot know about that war till you don’t know what the real war is about.” the Old man said enigmatically.
 
“What do you mean?” Dev instantly knew that he was in the presence of someone who knew more about the war than any living person.
 
“The Mahabharata is not only an Epic, a ballad, perhaps a reality but definitely a philosophy.” The Old man smiled luring Dev into more questions.

“Can you tell me what the philosophy is then?” Dev requested.

“Sure. Here goes,” began the Old man. 

“The Pandavas are nothing but your five senses, sight, smell, taste, touch and sound and do you know what the Kauravas are?” he asked narrowing his eyes. Dev shook his head. “The Kauravas are the hundred vices that attack your senses everyday but you can fight them and do you know how?” Dev shook his head again. “When Krishna rides your chariot!” The Old man smiled brighter and Dev gasped at that gem of insight.
 
“Krishna is your soul, your guiding light and if you let your life in his hands you have nothing to worry.” Dev was stupefied but came around quickly with another question. “Then why are Dronacharya and Bhishma fighting for the Kauravas, if they are vices?”

The Old man nodded, sadder for the question. “It just means that as you grow up your perception of your elders change. The elders who you thought were perfect in your growing up years are not all that perfect. They have faults.  And one day you will have to decide if they are for your good or your bad. Then you may also realize that you may have to fight them for the good. It is the hardest part of growing up and that is why the Geeta is important.”
 
Dev sat down on the ground, not because he was tired but because he could understand the enormity of it all.  “What about Karna?” he whispered.
 
“Ah!” said the Old man. “You have saved the best for last. Karna is the brother to your senses, he is desire, he is a part of you but stands with the vices. He feels wronged and makes excuses for being the vices as your desire does all the time. Does your desire not give you excuses to embrace vices?”

Dev nodded. He looked at the ground, consumed with a million thoughts, trying to put everything together and then when he looked up the Old man was gone. He seemed to have disappeared in the column of dust.

Later, when he checked into the hotel he saw a large painting of Ved Vyasa narrating the Mahabharata to Lord Ganesha and he could swear that the Sage looked exactly like the Old man whom he met in the dusty outdoor.

Does God Exist?

A group of 15 soldiers led by a Major were on their way to the post in Himalayas where they would be deployed for the next 3 months. The batch who would  be relieved waiting anxiously.

It was cold winter and intermittent snowfall made the treacherous climb more difficult.

If someone could offer a cup of tea. .... the major thought, knowing it was a futile wish..

They continued for an hour before they came across a dilapidated structure, which looked like a tea shop but locked. It was late in the night.

"No tea boys, bad luck", said the Major. But he suggested all take some rest there as they have been walking for 3 hours.

"Sir, this is a tea shop and we can make tea... We will have to break the lock", suggested one soldier.

The officer was in great dilemma to the unethical suggestion but the thought of a steaming cup of tea for the tired solders made him to give the permission.

They were in luck, the place had everything needed to make tea and also packets of biscuits. The solders had tea and biscuits and  were ready for the remaining journey.

The Major thought, they had broken open lock and had tea and biscuits without the permission of the owner. But they're not a band of thieves but disciplined soldiers. He took out a Rs 1000/- note from his wallet, placed it on the  counter, pressed under sugar container, so that the owner can see.

The officer was now relieved of his guilt. He ordered to put the shutter down and proceed.

Three months passed, they continued to  do gallantly in their works and were lucky not to lose anyone from the group in the intense insurgency situation.
 
It was time for another team to replace them.

Soon they were on their way back and stopped at the same tea shop which was open and owner was present in the shop.
 
The owner an old man with meager resources was very happy to greet 15 customers.

All of them had tea and biscuits. They talked to the old man about his life and  experience specially selling tea at such a remote place.

The old man had many stories to tell, replete with his faith in God. 

"Oh, Baba, if God is there, why should He keep you in such poverty?", commented one of them.

"Do not say  like that Sahib! God actually is there, I got a proof 3 months ago."
 
"I was going through very tough times because my only son had been severely beaten by terrorist who wanted some information from him which he did not have. I had closed my shop to take my son to hospital. Some medicines were to be purchased and I had no money. No one would give me loan for fear of the terrorists. There was no hope, Sahib".

"And that day Sahib, I prayed to God for help. And Sahib, God walked into my shop that day."
 
"When I returned to my shop, I found lock broken, I felt I was finished, I lost whatever little I had. But then I saw that God had left Rs 1000/ under the sugar pot. I can't tell you Sahib what that money was worth that day. God exists Sahib. He does."

The faith in his eyes were unflinching.
 
Fifteen pairs of eyes met the eyes of the officer and read the order in his eyes clear and unambiguous, "Keep quiet".

The officer got up and paid the bill. He hugged the old man and said, "Yes Baba, I know God does exist. And yes, the tea was wonderful."

The the 15 pairs of eyes did not miss to notice the moisture building up in the eyes of their officer, a rare sight.

The truth is...... you can be God to anyone.

(A true story)

Toothpicks

I attended a birthday party with a gathering of about 30 people. I sat at the front seat.

A lady started distributing food.She started from the back and unfortunately, it didn't get to us sitting at the front.

Another lady started sharing the drinks, she started from the front but unfortunately I had already moved to sit at the back. Again the drink didn't get to me.

I was so furious that I stood up to take my leave but then I saw three ladies each with a big bowl. This time, I tried to be wise by sitting at the middle.

One of the ladies started the sharing from the front, the second lady started distributing from the back. The two ladies were sharing fried turkey.

When they got to the middle where I was seated, it got finished again!

Feeling so frustrated I bent my head, putting my face in my hands... but then the third lady tapped me and stretched her bowl for me to pick.

I stretched and put my hands inside the bowl... Guess what was in the bowl?
 
Toothpicks.

(This story is mostly related for understanding timing in equity markets, but then it applies equally well for our life too.)

20 November, 2015

The Son and The Daughter

My daughter – Jiya, came to my life two years after my son, Rehan. I wanted to be the best mother to her but in the process, what I forgot to do is the biggest regret of my life.

I grew up in a modest Indian household consisting of four siblings, I being the only daughter. A typical story of any other woman in that time and age. My story is no different from theirs. I grew up going to government schools while my brothers went to the elite convents. I came home, helped my mother cook and clean while my brothers had the privilege of playing cricket, watching movies, lazying around all day long, doing nothing with similar non-productive peers, all united by the benefits that came from being born with a certain alternative chromosome.

“You are a girl, you should know household chores. You have to build a home and nurture it all your life.” Amma would always tell me.
 
Before I could write my third year exams, Baba announced that I would be getting married. The boy’s name was Anil, a qualified Paediatrician. But what about my degree? I wanted to study further and become a professor. Nothing.

“Your true happiness lies in finding a good husband. He will give you a good life.” Amma would say.

Fortunately, Amma was right about Anil. He was a good man. We had a blissful marriage. But part of my dreams, ambitions remained unfulfilled. So I decided my daughter will live my dreams and I will live them through her eyes. I was prepared. She would be equal to my son.

Jiya and Rehan attended the same school. Jiya was always smarter than Rehan. She was talented too. I let Jiya pursue her hobbies. She was a good student, a good swimmer, a good dancer. Unlike what my mother did to me, I never forced Jiya to work on her culinary skills. My Jiya grew up to be such a beauty! She was a straight A student in college! She wore the most fashionable outfits, attended all parties, she hung out with friends, she even had a few drinks sometimes or more and had a couple of serious relationships.

“Girls and boys are equal. You live your life on your terms with your choices. You are a strong, independent woman” I once told her. My perfect daughter whom I had vouched to gift a perfect life.

Today, Jiya is a qualified lawyer and she married her classmate Kunal. They both are a perfect couple with a son. Jiya never left her job, she shares home chores with Kunal. Rehan is also married to a lovely girl Mira, who he met at medical school.

How times have changed for the better! I wish Amma were alive to see how men and women are meant to support each other in an equal relationship. Or not. That day changed everything for me — I felt like a true hypocrite. May be I am, may be every Indian mother is.

I was shopping for my grandson that day when the phone rang — Jiya calling, “Ma” came her terrified voice even before I could say ‘Hello’. “Please come home immediately.”

“What happened Jiya”.

“Just come home soon Ma, I will tell you.” She was sobbing.

The three kilometre ride seemed like eternity then.

When I reached, I saw a police car standing outside my house and random neighbours stood outside whispering. A chill runs down my spine thinking about it. As I entered, Jiya came running to hug me “Ma, Rehan bhaiya has beaten up Bhabhi badly, she called the police. Police have arrested him…Papa has gone there with Gupta uncle…..”

The rest was a blur. What a big mistake! As if my Rehan would ever beat up a woman! He is my son belonging to a respectable, progressive, civilized family like ours! My perfect son. Why is Mira filing a false complaint against my poor baby…?

I reached the police station. I saw Mira – her eye was swollen and black. Her lips were bloody red, a visible cut. Her hand was resting on her stomach, an injury possibly from being “kicked” is what I heard.

Her staged bruises look so real, I thought! Where is Rehan. My poor boy is being framed. Have the police hit him the way they show in Bollywood movies? Oh God! I silently pray, wiping my tears,

“Amma, look what has happened, please protect my son. How our lives have been wrecked! I will get my son out of this mess…My baby..”

Rehan appeared with a constable holding him. Anil is there with Mr. Gupta, his lawyer friend, had managed to arrange for a bail. Rehan looked stressed, but thankfully he was not hurt. I hugged him. We came back home. Jiya and Kunal were also home.

I made him a good cup of tea, I wanted him to relax before I asked him any questions. He already looked so traumatized…that Mira…How could I be so wrong in judging that girl? No no.. She was always Rehan’s choice but still I had liked her, approved of her. But she would do this to us, that came across as a shock. What a lying, manipulative woman! What poor upbringing. Her mother should be blamed for raising such an irresponsible child.

I walked toward Rehan’s room to give him tea. The door was slightly open. I could hear his voice, I wish I hadn’t. He was talking on the phone, to a friend perhaps. Finally opening up to somebody, my poor distraught boy..

…..“She is just impossible…Doesn’t even give me dinner once I reach home…I have to do my laundry myself.. Tortures me with her feminist equality shit all the time…Doesn’t know how to cook. You should see her chapatis…Bloody arrogant idiot.. And just see the way she drinks at parties, the clothes that she wears, like a whore. That woman is completely out of line. I have slapped her so many times to control her but the bitch doesn’t understand she has to behave like a woman. Just because she earns a few bucks, she thinks she wears the pants in the relationship. I whacked the crap out of her this time. And look what the snooty slut did, straight to the police….”

I froze in that moment, struggling to hold the tray even. So I ran to my bedroom and shut it tight, hoping I could shut that moment forever.

I lay in shock in my bedroom amidst the precious moments of my life captured in numerous photo frames hanging on the wall. My whole life came flashing in my mind. I realised, I was so occupied in ensuring that I raised my daughter to be equal to a man, I forgot to raise my son to be human.

My Jiya was taught to study, to play, to not be in the kitchen – her role reversed. But Rehan was never taught to even fetch a glass of water himself. Yes, I thought I progressed as a mother by paving the way for my daughter, out of the kitchen to the study room. But when it came to raising a son, I was no different from Amma.

I remembered to instill a feminist streak in my daughter, but I forgot to delete the inherent chauvinistic mentality embedded in the psyche of my son, possibly the curse of being born as an Indian man. I endeavored to change the society, a better and a more balanced place, enriched by my self-sufficient daughter. But the imbalance that has been created is far more disastrous. I have inflicted another antiquated, chauvinistic, loser with a skewed sense of masculinity in the already wretched society in the form of my son.

Amma’s smile behind that frame garlanded with dry flowers seemed to be mocking me upon my achievement.

(Author - Not Known)

The Karmic Mechanism

There was once a man who got lost in the desert. The water in his flask ran out two days ago, and he was on his last legs. He knew that if he didn't get some water soon, he would surely perish. The man saw a shack ahead of him. He thought it might be a mirage or hallucination, but having no other option, he moved toward it. As he got closer he realized it was quite real, so he dragged his weary body to the door with the last of his strength.
 
The shack was not occupied and seemed like it had been abandoned for quite some time. The man gained entrance, hoping against hope that he might find water inside.
 
His heart skipped a beat when he saw what was in the shack: a water pump..It had a pipe going down through the floor, perhaps tapping a source of water deep under-ground.
 
He began working the pump, but no water came out. He kept at it and still nothing happened. Finally he gave up from exhaustion and frustration. He threw up his hands in despair. It looked as if he was going to die after all.

Then the man noticed a bottle in one corner of the shack. It was filled with water and corked up to prevent evaporation.
 
He uncorked the bottle and was about to gulp down the sweet life-giving water when he noticed a piece of paper attached to it. Handwriting on the paper read: "Use this water to start the pump. Don't forget to fill the bottle when you're done."
 
He had a dilemma. He could follow the instruction and pour the water into the pump, or he could ignore it and just drink the water.
 
What to do? If he let the water go into the pump, what assurance did he have that it would work? What if the pump malfunctioned? What if the pipe had a leak? What if the underground reservoir had long dried up?
 
But then... maybe the instruction was correct. Should he risk it? If it turned out to be false, he would be throwing away the last water he would ever see.
 
Hands trembling, he poured the water into the pump. Then he closed his eyes, said a prayer, and started working the pump.
 
He heard a gurgling sound, and then water came gushing out, more than he could possibly use. He luxuriated in the cool and refreshing stream. He was going to live!
 
After drinking his fill and feeling much better, he looked around the shack. He found a pencil and a map of the region. The map showed that he was still far away from civilization, but at least now he knew where he was and which direction to go.
 
He filled his flask for the journey ahead. He also filled the bottle and put the cork back in. Before leaving the shack, he added his own writing below the instruction: "Believe me, it works!"
 
This story is all about life. It teaches us that we must give before we can receive abundantly. More importantly, it also teaches that faith plays an important role in giving. The man did not know if his action would be rewarded, but he proceeded regardless. Without knowing what to expect, he made a leap of faith.
 
Water in this story represents the good things in life. Something that brings a smile to your face. It can be  intangible knowledge or it can represent money, love, family, friendship, happiness, respect, or any number of other things you value. Whatever it is that you would like to get out of life, that's water.
 
The water pump represents the workings of the karmic mechanism. Give it some water to work with, and it will return far more than you put in.

18 September, 2015

Music + Life = Play On

If music be the way of life..........play on.

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23 August, 2015

Interesting Protagoras's Paradox

This is part of ancient Greek history. The lawyer teacher was Protagoras (c.485-415 BCE) and the student was Euthalos. This is known as Protagoras's Paradox. This case was not solved. The most interesting part - this is still debated (even today) in law schools as a logic problem!

Many years ago, a Law teacher came across a student who was willing to learn but was unable to pay the fees. The student struck a deal saying, "I will pay your fee the day I win my first case in the court".

Teacher agreed and proceeded with the law course. When the course was finished and the teacher started pestering the student to pay up the fee, the student reminded him of the deal and pushed days. Fed up with this, the teacher decided to sue the student in the court of law and both of them decided to argue for themselves.

The teacher put forward his argument saying: "If I win this case, as per the court of law, the student has to pay me as the case is about his non-payment of dues. And if I lose the case, student will still pay me because he would have won his first case. So either way I will have to get the money".

Equally brilliant, the student argued back saying: "If I win the case, as per the court of law, I don't have to pay anything to the teacher as the case is about my non-payment of dues. And if I lose the case, I don't have to pay him because I haven't won my first case yet. So either way, I am not going pay the teacher anything".

This is one of the greatest paradoxes ever recorded.

Who is right and who is the winner?

How Much Is Enough

Legend has it that Alexander III of Greece, commonly known as Alexander the Great, sent one of his messengers to invite the quiet Yogi Dandini for a discourse and discussion on philosophy. After conquering the world at the cost of countless lives, he was making rapid progress in his territorial coups. He had heard a great deal about this yogi. Dandini, however, turned down the invitation and chose to stay back in his hermitage in the woods. Alexander didn’t take it too kindly. But, being a pupil of none other than the brilliant Aristotle, he well knew that mystics and philosophers could rarely be lured or coerced.
 
He sent his helmsman, Onesicritus, to invite Dandini one more time who praised the yogi lavishly and offered him gifts. When Dandini didn’t change his stance, Onesicritus threatened him saying Alexander had ordered his beheading should the orders of the emperor be disobeyed. Dandini refused all gifts, remained unmoved, and said he had no fear of death. Onesicritus couldn’t muster the courage to kill him, and, instead, paid his respects to the yogi and went back to report the incident.
 
Livid at being rejected by a forest-dweller, Alexander decided to teach Dandini a lesson. As he, along with his marshal and the royal entourage, made way into the deeper forests, a sense of calm began to engulf him. His anger took a backseat as soon as he looked into Dandini’s piercing eyes but when the sage did not get up to welcome him, he was furious once again.
 
“How dared you refuse my gifts?” Alexander asked him sternly.
 
“They were smeared in blood.”
 
There was something in Dandini’s voice, a chilling truth, a fearless conviction that shook Alexander from within. Yet, he wasn’t prepared to let his expressions betray his feelings in front of his men. Alexander dismounted his horse and stood tall before the sage who was sitting calmly.
 
“Do you know who I am?” Alexander roared.
 
“I don’t think you know who you are.”
 
This ticked off Alexander who took yogi’s cryptic answers as an insult. Pulling out his shining sword, he raised it in the air and brought it close to Dandini’s neck.
 
“I am Alexander, the world conqueror,” he shouted. “You are sitting on my land. Surrender or I’ll kill y­ou.”
 
“Your land?” Dandini chuckled as he cut him off. “The land belongs to no one, O King!”
 
“Before you, there were others who claimed it as theirs,” he continued. “After you, there’ll be others who will say it’s theirs. All creation belongs to the creator alone, Alexander. And no one has any right to destroy what they haven’t created. You have blood on your hands, O Emperor. You may have a temporary claim on the land, but you have permanent scars on your soul.”
 
Alexander lowered his sword and adjusted his posture uncomfortably. Signaling his men to wait at a distance, he cleared his throat.
 
“The whole world is mine, Dandini,” Alexander exclaimed. “History will remember me as the mightiest king! My men can die for me!”
 
“What good is your ambition or their remembrance, O King? You drown yourself in alcohol every evening so you may forget about your sins. These men who surround you, they are tired of you. They’ll give up on you one day very soon.”
 
“Besides,” Dandini continued, “what will you do with the world? All you need is two yards. Two yards long and two yards deep. That’s all that will belong to you ultimately.”
 
Deeply moved, Alexander put his sword back, bobbed before Dandini and left immediately.
 
Barely a few months had passed when his army mutinied bringing an abrupt end to his campaign in India. Three years later, Alexander died at the age of thirty-three in Babylon.
Even though it may seem that way, the focus today is not Alexander and his crusades. Instead, it is but you and me and our conquests.
What is the sum total of human life?
 
Are we to keep working towards eternally elusive and expanding goals?
 
I say this rhetorically. At the same time, however, I do believe that in our continuous effort to be more productive and ever progressive, we tend to lose sight of the beautiful side of life — its simplicity.
 
Simple lives are beautiful lives. This is my view. A good meal, two ticks of laughter, a gesture of love, an act of kindness, that’s what life is about, that’s what simplicity is about. In any relationship or when you are lonely, it’s these small gestures, these simple moments that make you feel complete, fulfilled.
 
And, simplicity requires great mindfulness and determination because it’s so easy to keep adding clutter in our world of gadgets and devices. It takes no effort to complicate our lives in this uber-connected world. Each one of us, an Alexander of our own world, seems to have embarked on an endless spree of material acquisitions. By no means I’m saying that you strip yourself off your wealth or that you don’t aim for material growth.
 
By simplicity, I am suggesting that you do a mindful stock take of your life. Where you are and where do you want to be? What matters to you? Are you living or just getting by?
 
Your perspective of life and your criteria of success will undergo a profound paradigm shift once you simplify your life. In fact, simplification of life is not a solitary event, it is a world conquest in its own right. Whether a glassful of water is adequate is not so much about the absolute quantity of water as it is about your thirst. If you are not thirsty, even very little will do but if your soul is parched, a whole ocean won’t suffice.
 
How much is enough, after all?
 
For a contented heart, it’s always enough. For, that’s what nature is about — abundant, bounteous, enough. Always. It’s simple.

Mother And Son

After 8 years together, Kristeena and Luke Rheault have finally come to the most beautiful day of their life.

Normally at the reception there is a traditional mother-son dance. But, this defies all tradition. The groom’s mother suffers from ALS. Her atrophied muscles have chained her to a wheelchair. 

So Luke kneels down next to her abruptly. At eye level with his mother he swings her carefully through the ballroom and tenderly dries her tears. 

In this moment the bride fell in love with him all over again: “That was probably the most touching moment I have ever experienced,” tells Kristeena. “There wasn’t a dry eye in the room.”

video

Shortly after the recording, Luke’s mother died. But the groom is overjoyed that he was able to share this moment with his mother before she died. The memory of her happy face will be stored forever in his heart.

16 August, 2015

60th School Reunion

He was a widower and she a widow.

They had known each other for a number of years being high school classmates and having attended class reunions in the past without fail.

This 60th anniversary of their class, they had a wonderful evening, their spirits high.The widower throwing admiring glances across the table. The widow smiling coyly back at him.

Finally, he picked up courage to ask her, "Will you marry me?"

After about six seconds of careful consideration, she answered, "Yes,..... yes I will!"

The evening ended on a happy note for the widower. But the next morning he was troubled.

Did she say “Yes” or did she say “No?”

He couldn't remember. Try as he would, he just could not recall. He went over the conversation of the previous evening, but his mind was blank.

He remembered asking the question but for the life of him he could not recall her response. With fear and trepidation he picked up the phone and called her.

First, he explained that he couldn't remember as well as he used to. Then he reviewed the past evening.

As he gained a little more courage he then inquired of her. "When I asked if you would marry me, did you say “Yes” or did you say “No?”

"Why you silly man, I said ‘Yes. Yes I will.’ And I meant it with all my heart."

The widower was delighted. He felt his heart skip a beat.

Then she continued. "And I am so glad you called because I couldn't remember who asked me!.”

Wax Removal

This is a short story written by Dr Kishore Shah.... he is a Gynaecologist in Pune India and a very gifted writer....enjoy this extremely funny story.
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My wife is an ENT Surgeon while I am a Gynaecologist. This can lead to some complications, as I recently learned to my anguish. A General Practitioner called me up and told me that she is sending a patient of hers for an abortion. Unknown to me, she had also referred to my wife a female with ear wax for removal of the wax .

I duly informed the receptionist to send the patient right in as she was expected (and expecting!) As Murphy lays down the laws of our hospital, it was but natural that the patient who wanted the wax removed from her ear, landed up with me. This is the conversation that I had with the patient.

"Please come in. Be seated." I said with a big smile. I always have a big smile, when I am going to earn some money. The patient gave a feeble smile and sat hesitantly on the edge of the chair. "Relax."

"Doctor, will this hurt a lot?"

"Not at all."

The patient relaxed visibly. "You know something, Doctor, we tried removing it at home, but failed."

I was shocked. "Thank God. Trying this at home can cause serious complications."

"I first tried to remove it by jumping up and down, but it just wouldn't budge."

I smiled and said, "If it were that easy, who would need doctors?"

She gave a cute smile and said, "Yeah! My neighbor tried to remove it with his finger, but the hole is so small that he used a hair pin."

"Oh my God!"

"Yes! My mother even tried a match stick."

My blood pressure was shooting skywards. I just sputtered without uttering a word.

"Tell me, doctor, how do I avoid getting this dirt inside me?"

I knew that it was an unwanted pregnancy, but calling it dirt was too much. I replied a bit angrily, "There are tablets which can prevent this happening. Or you could use protection at night."

Now it was the patient's turn to be confused, "You mean to say that it happens only at night?"

I saw her point. "No! No! I meant anytime of the day, whenever you are in the mood, you should use protection."

She was even more confused, "It depends on my moods?"

Again I saw her point.. "My mistake. You need not be in any sort of mood. It just happens."

"My neighbor advised me to go to one of those chaps who sit by the roadside."

"You mean that pin man?"

"Yeah!"

This neighbour of hers seemed to be a very dangerous man. Besides using pins, he was sending her to such quacks. The only safety he knew was among the pins. "You were wise not to heed his advice."

"But I tried his other advice. He told me to put warm oil inside and wait. However, that also did not work."

This was getting more and more bizarre. Her neighbor deserved to be locked up either in a padded cell or a barred one.

"But have you taken your husband's permission?"

Now the patient looked confused. "Do I have to take my husband's permission? Because if you need his sign, he is working in Dubai . We were not able to meet for the last one year."

It was my turn to be shocked. I gave a sly smirk. It was one of 'those' cases. The pin-wielding neighbor seemed to me the usual suspect. I reassured her. "No! No! The husband's sign is not at all needed."

"However, I did inform him on phone."

Her husband seemed to me a very broad-minded fellow. I didn't know whether to congratulate her or to commiserate with her. So I hastily turned to other aspects. "Its good that you came a bit early."

"Actually I wanted to come early in the morning, but I had some other work."

"Oh! I did not mean early today. I meant that if you had delayed this removal, it would have started moving. Then it would have developed a heartbeat."

The patient was staring at me wide eyed as if watching a horror movie. Looking at her face, I decided that she was not fit to listen to the grotesque details. I decided to relieve her a bit. I said, "You will bleed a bit, but only for a few days."

By now, the poor patient was trembling, "how-
h-how much bleeding?"

"Oh, only slightly more than your menstrual period, and it will continue only for a week or so."

By now the patient was clutching her hair in her fingers and staring at me wide-eyed. I asked her soothingly, "Why don't you lie down on the examination table? Remove your clothes and relax."

This was the final straw. She didn't even wish me goodbye. I saw just a blur of motion leaving my consulting room at top speed.

69th Independence Day

On the eve of the 69th Independence Day, came across these two wonderful videos...........signifying the importance and contribution of the Indian Army. Treasuring them.

video
video 
JAI HIND
 

12 August, 2015

Vanilla Icecream

Never underestimate your Clients' Complaint, no matter how funny it might seem!

This is a real story that happened between the customer of General Motors and its Customer-Care Executive. Please read on.....

A complaint was received by the Pontiac Division of General Motors:

'This is the second time I have written to you, and I don't blame you for not answering me, because I sounded crazy, but it is a fact that we have a tradition in our family of Ice-Cream for dessert after dinner each night, but the kind of ice cream varies so, every night, after we've eaten, the whole family votes on which kind of ice cream we should have and I drive down to the store to get it. It's also a fact that I recently purchased a new Pontiac and since then my trips to the store have created a problem.....

You see, every time I buy a vanilla ice-cream, when I start back from the store my car won't start. If I get any other kind of ice cream, the car starts just fine. I want you to know I'm serious about this question, no matter how silly it sounds "What is there about a Pontiac that makes it not start when I get vanilla ice cream, and easy to start whenever I get any other kind?" The Pontiac President was understandably skeptical about the letter, but sent an Engineer to check it out anyway.

The latter was surprised to be greeted by a successful, obviously well educated man in a fine neighborhood. He had arranged to meet the man just after dinner time, so the two hopped into the car and drove to the ice cream store. It was vanilla ice cream that night and, sure enough, after they came back to the car, it wouldn't start.

The Engineer returned for three more nights. The first night, they got chocolate. The car started. The second night, he got strawberry. The car started. The third night he ordered vanilla. The car failed to start.

Now the engineer, being a logical man, refused to believe that this man's car was allergic to vanilla ice cream. He arranged, therefore, to continue his visits for as long as it took to solve the problem. And toward this end he began to take notes. He jotted down all sorts of data: time of day, type of gas uses, time to drive back and forth etc.

In a short time, he had a clue: the man took less time to buy vanilla than any other flavor. Why? The answer was in the layout of the store. Vanilla, being the most popular flavor, was in a separate case at the front of the store for quick pickup. All the other flavors were kept in the back of the store at a different counter where it took considerably longer to check out the flavor.

Now, the question for the Engineer was why the car wouldn't start when it took less time. E..ureka - Time was now the problem - not the vanilla ice cream!!!! The engineer quickly came up with the answer: "vapor lock".

It was happening every night; but the extra time taken to get the other flavors allowed the engine to cool down sufficiently to start. When the man got vanilla, the engine was still too hot for the vapor lock to dissipate.

Even crazy looking problems are sometimes real and all problems seem to be simple only when we find the solution, with cool thinking.

Don't just say "problem is at the other end or  it is IMPOSSIBLE" without putting a sincere effort....

What really matters is your attitude and your perception.

Moral of the Story "Try to Fix the Bug instead of making it as a Known Issue.

Reflection Of Your Thoughts

Once a dog ran into a museum, where all the walls, the ceiling, the door and even the floor were made of mirror. Seeing this the dog froze in surprise in the middle of the hall, a whole pack of dogs surrounded it from all sides, from above and below. Just in case, the dog bared his teeth, and all the reflections responded to it in the same way. 

Frightened, the dog frantically barked, the reflections imitated the bark and increased it many times. The dog barked even harder and the echo was keeping up. The dog tossed from one side to another, biting the air, his reflections also tossed around snapping their teeth.
 

Next day in the morning the museum security guards found the miserable dog, lifeless and surrounded by a million reflections of lifeless dogs. There was nobody, who would could have caused any harm to the dog. The dog died by fighting with his own reflections.

The world doesn't bring good or evil on its own. Everything that is happening around us is the reflection of our own thoughts, feelings, wishes and actions. 


The World is a big mirror. Strike a good pose!

Run Your Race

I was cycling and noticed a person in front of me, about 1/4 of Km. I could tell he was cycling a little slower than me and decided to try to catch him. I had about a km to go on the road before turning off.

So I started cycling faster and faster and every block, I was gaining on him just a little bit. After just a few minutes I was only about 100 yards behind him, so I really picked up the pace and pushed myself. You would have thought I was cycling in the last leg of London Olympic triathlon.

Finally,I caught up with him and passed him by. On the inside I felt so good. “I beat him" of course, but he didn't even know we were racing.

After I passed him, I realized that I had been so focused on competing against him that I had missed my turn, had gone nearly six blocks past it and had to turn around and go all back.

Isn't that what happens in life when we focus on competing with co-workers, neighbours, friends, family, trying to outdo them or trying to prove that we are more successful or more important? We spend our time and energy running after them and we miss out on our own paths to our destinies.

Moral :
The problem with unhealthy competition is that it’s a never ending cycle. There will always be somebody ahead of you, someone with better job, nicer car, more money in the bank, more education, a prettier wife, a more handsome husband, better behaved children, etc.

Run your own RACE and wish others WELL!!!

The Power Of Words

A mother writes a heartfelt letter to her son, on why he should not laugh at his wife’s shapeless rotis (pancakes). A must read.

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Dear Son,

Hope this letter finds you in the best of spirits and health.

You might be surprised to find an email from your mom. Something told me to write to you; that you need to hear from me today.

It was indeed one of the best evenings that your father and I spent when you visited us with your new wife yesterday. Rest assured, we liked her immensely. I could see that both of you are very much in love and that makes me happy. May your love grow every moment!

Now let me get to the reason for writing this letter. I don’t know whether you remember, but during dinner, you cracked a joke about the shapeless rotis that Lavanya makes. We all laughed and your father laughed the loudest. There were tears of laughter in your father’s eyes and there were tears in your wife’s eyes too. I can assure you that her tears were not of mirth; they were tears of mortification, of shame brought about by the innocuous joke that you cracked.

I guess that joke was the reason why we heard raised voices coming from your room yesterday night and the reason why Lavanya appeared puffy eyed in the morning. Maybe she cried all night.

Son, I want to tell you something. I love shapeless rotis. They bring back many fond memories. They remind me of the shapeless rotis made by my father on certain Saturday mornings when my mother had extra duty at her office. They often lacked salt, were hard like rock and were shaped like various continents. But his love for us compensated for all that it lacked.

Shapeless rotis also bring memories of those days when your father turned into my cook. It was during those early days of pregnancy while I was carrying you. I couldn’t bear the smell of spices or rice or anything cooking. Your father would churn out shapeless rotis and experimental curries, which tasted quite good because he wanted to provide home cooked food for his wife and unborn child. His care and affection made those rotis priceless.

Do you remember how you used to insist on helping me while I prepared rotis when you were around four years old? You would play with the dough and create various shapes that you wanted to be cooked and served to all. I can tell you, those were the tastiest rotis that I ever ate.

Words can create a world full of love. Yet, a thoughtless word is enough to destroy that world.

Lavanya and you are equally qualified; you both earn equally well too. You have both spent an equal number of years educating yourself to be the professionals that you are. But you expect Lavanya to become the perfect cook and home-maker from the moment you married her! How unreasonable is that?

Rahul, no new wife wants to be ridiculed in front of her in-laws. Trust me, I can tell you that. Been there, done that. She craves to be loved by them and she expects her husband’s support in her effort at endearing herself to them.

Teething troubles in marriages are often capable of draining out the love you have for each other. Be there for her while she adapts herself to your world. A small token of appreciation and open support is all that she will need.

You are my beloved son and I know you have learned to see the brighter side of things. Value love more than any other thing because son, perfectly round rotis are often machine made. They lack the most essential ingredient; Love.

Wishing you a world of love,

Yours loving mother

Dignity Is Not Negotiable

One morning at our Law College, when our new teacher to "Introduction to the Rights" entered the classroom, the first thing that he did was to ask the name of a student who was seated on the first bench: "What is your name?"
 

"My name is Juan, Sir."
 

"Leave the classroom and I don't want to ever see you in my class ever!" screamed the unpleasant teacher.
 

Juan was bewildered. When he got hold of his senses, he got up quickly, collected his belongings and left the classroom.
 

All were scared and angry; however nobody spoke anything.
 

"Well...." said the new teacher, "whom do the enacted Laws serve?"
 

We were afraid, but slowly gained confidence and we began to answer his questions.
 

"So that there is an order in our society."
 

"No!" The teacher answered
 

"To accomplish them."
 

"No!"
 

"So that the wrong people pay for their actions?"
 

"No! Is it that nobody knows to answer this question?!"
 

"So that there is justice," said a girl timidly.
 

"At last! That's it.... so that there is justice. And now, what is the use of justice?"
 

All began to feel uneasy by such rude attitude. However, we followed answering....
 

"To safeguard the human rights...."
 

"Well, what more?" asked the teacher.
 

"To differentiate the right from the wrong.... to reward the good...."
 

"Okay, that is not bad; however... answer this question: Did I act correctly when expelling Juan from the classroom?"
 

All were quiet, nobody answered.
 

"I want a decisive and unanimous answer!"
 

"No!" we all replied in unison.
 

"Could you all say I committed injustice?"
 

"Yes!"
 

"And why did nobody do anything in that respect? So why do we need Rules and Laws if we don't have the necessary will to practice them? Each one of you has the obligation of when you witness an injustice. All of you! Do not stay quiet, never again! Go and call Juan," he said staring at me.

On that day, I received the most practical lesson in my course of Law.

When we don't defend our Rights, we lose our Dignity, and DIGNITY IS NOT NEGOTIABLE.

These Are Not Accidents

Dr. Mark, a well-known cancer specialist, was once on his way to an important conference in another city where he was going to be granted an award in the field of medical research.

He was very excited to attend the conference and was desperate to reach as soon as possible. He had worked long and hard on his research and felt his efforts deserved the award he was about to obtain.

However, two hours after the plane took off, the plane made an emergency landing at the nearest airport due to some technical snag. Afraid, that he wouldn't make it in time for the conference, Dr. Mark immediately went to the reception and found that the next flight to the destination was after ten hours. The receptionist suggested him, to rent a car and drive himself down to the conference city which was only four hours away.

Having no other choice, he agreed to the idea despite his hatred for driving long distances.
 

Dr. Mark rented a car and started his journey. However, soon after he left, the weather suddenly changed and a heavy storm began. The pouring rain made it very difficult for him to see and he missed a turn he was supposed to take.

After two hours of driving, he was convinced he was lost. Driving in the heavy rain on a deserted road, feeling hungry and tired, he frantically began to look for any sign of civilization. After some time, he finally came across a small tattered house. Desperate, he got out of the car and knocked on the door. A beautiful lady opened the door. He explained the matter and asked her if he could use her telephone.
 

However, the lady told him that she doesn't have a phone or any electronic gadget but told the doctor to come inside and wait till the weather improved.
Hungry, wet and exhausted, the doctor accepted her kind offer and walked in. The lady gave him hot tea and something to eat. The lady told him that he can join her for prayer. But, Dr. Mark smiled and said that he believed in hard work only and told her to continue with her prayers.
 

Sitting on the table and sipping the tea, the doctor watched the woman in the dim light of candles as she prayed next to what appeared to be a small baby crib.

Every time she finished a prayer, she would start another one. Feeling that the woman might be in need of help, the doctor seized the opportunity to speak as soon as she finished her prayers. The doctor asked her what exactly she wanted from the God and enquired if she thought God will ever listen to her prayers. He further asked about the small child in the crib for whom she was apparently praying. The lady gave a sad smile and said that the child in the crib is her son who is suffering from a rare type of cancer and there is only one doctor Mark who can cure him but she doesn't have money to afford his fee and moreover Dr Mark lives in another far off town. She said that God has not answered her prayer so far but said that God will create some way out one day and added that she will not allow her fears to overcome her faith.

Stunned and speechless Dr Mark was in tears which were rolling down his cheeks. He whispered, God is great and recollected the sequence of events. ....there was malfunction in the plane, a thunderstorm hit, and he lost his way; and all of this happened because God did not just answer her prayer but also gave him a chance to come out of materialistic world and give some time to the poor hapless people who have nothing but rich prayers.


Always be prepared to do .......What God has prepared you for.

" There are No Accidents in Life"