The day I stopped drinking milk – an inspiring story.

Following is a story I am copy pasting from my inbox of Yahoo. The fiction I am writing is something similar to this story line and it was brought to my attention. The picture on the right is of Sudha Murty. She has collected stories and put them together in a book, one of the stories is included here as you will read ahead.
Very inspiring true story. Something that I always insist the readers to do. Help the kids. Once again in the story below it is proved that helping a kid into a right direction will help us build a better world for tomorrow. Not only the future will be healthy and in the hands of responsible citizens but will also help continuing the chain of doing good to the next one found in need.
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Sudha Murty, chairperson, Infosys Foundation and author, is known for her ability to glean interesting stories from the lives of ordinary people and weave these narratives into a unique blend of anecdote and fable.
Her latest collection of stories, ‘The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk’, features a fascinating cast of characters, each of whom made an indelible impression on the author. Extracted here is a nugget from ‘Bombay (Now, Mumbai) to Bangalore (Now, Bengaluru)’, one of the most heartwarming stories in this collection:

It was the beginning of summer. I was boarding Udyan Express at Gulbarga railway station. My destination was Bangalore. As I boarded the train, I saw that the second-class reserved compartment was jam-packed with people. I sat down and was pushed to the corner of the berth. Though it was meant for three people, there were already six of us sitting on it…

The ticket collector came in and started checking people’s tickets and reservations.. Suddenly, he looked in my direction and asked, ‘What about your ticket?’ ‘I have already shown my ticket to you,’ I said.

‘Not you, madam, the girl hiding below your berth. Hey, come out, where is your ticket?’ I realized that someone was sitting below my berth. When the collector yelled at her, the girl came out of hiding.

She was thin, dark, scared and looked like she had been crying profusely. She must have been about thirteen or fourteen years old.She had uncombed hair and was dressed in a torn skirt and blouse. She was trembling and folded both her hands.. The collector started forcibly pulling her out from the compartment. Suddenly, I had a strange feeling. I stood up and called out to the collector. ‘Sir, I will pay for her ticket,’ I said.

Then he looked at me and said, ‘Madam, if you give her ten rupees, she will be much happier with that than with the ticket.’

I did not listen to him. I told the collector to give me a ticket to the last destination, Bangalore, so that the girl could get down wherever she wanted.

Slowly, she started talking. She told me that her name was Chitra. She lived in a village near Bidar. Her father was a coolie and she had lost her mother at birth. Her father had remarried and had two sons with her stepmother. But a few months ago, her father had died. Her stepmother started beating her often and did not give her food. She was tired of that life. She did not have anybody to support her so she left home in search of something better.

By this time, the train had reached Bangalore. I said goodbye to Chitra and got down from the train. My driver came and picked up my bags. I felt someone watching me. When I turned back, Chitra was standing there and looking at me with sad eyes. But there was nothing more that I could do. I had paid her ticket out of compassion but I had never thought that she was going to be my responsibility!…

I told her to get into my car. My driver looked at the girl curiously. I told him to take us to my friend Ram’s place. Ram ran separate shelter homes for boys and girls. We at the Infosys Foundation supported him financially. I thought Chitra could stay there for some time and we could talk about her future after I came back from my tours.

I was not sure if Chitra would even be there. But to my surprise, I saw Chitra looking much happier than before. Ram suggested that Chitra could go to a high school nearby. I immediately agreed and said that I would sponsor her expenses as long as she continued to study. I left the shelter knowing that Chitra had found a home and a new direction in her life.

I got busier and my visits to the shelter reduced to once a year. But I always enquired about Chitra’s well-being over the phone. I knew that she was studying well and that her progress was good.. I offered to sponsor her college studies if she wanted to continue studying. But she said, ‘No, Akka. I have talked to my friends and made up my mind. I would like to do my diploma in computer science so that I can immediately get a job after three years.’ She wanted to become economically independent as soon as possible.. Chitra obtained her diploma with flying colours. She also got a job in a software company as an assistant testing engineer. When she got her first salary, she came to my office with a sari and a box of sweets.

One day, when I was in Delhi, I got a call from Chitra. She was very happy. ‘Akka, my company is sending me to USA! I wanted to meet you and take your blessings but you are not here in Bangalore.’.

Years passed. Occasionally, I received an e-mail from Chitra. She was doing very well in her career. She was posted across several cities in USA and was enjoying life. I silently prayed that she should always be happy wherever she was.

Years later, I was invited to deliver a lecture in San Francisco for Kannada Koota, an organization where families who speak Kannada meet and organize events. The lecture was in a convention hall of a hotel and I decided to stay at the same hotel. After the lecture, I was planning to leave for the airport. When I checked out of the hotel room and went to the reception counter to pay the bill, the receptionist said, ‘Ma’am, you don’t need to pay us anything. The lady over there has already settled your bill. She must know you pretty well.’ I turned around and found Chitra there.

She was standing with a young white man and wore a beautiful sari. She was looking very pretty with short hair. Her dark eyes were beaming with happiness and pride. As soon as she saw me, she gave me a brilliant smile, hugged me and touched my feet. I was overwhelmed with joy and did not know what to say. I was very happy to see the way things had turned out for Chitra. But I came back to my original question. ‘Chitra, why did you pay my hotel bill? That is not right.’ Suddenly sobbing, she hugged me and said, ‘Because you paid for my ticket from Bombay to Bangalore!’

(Excerpted with permission from Penguin Books India from Sudha Murty’s ‘The Day I Stopped Drinking Milk: Life Stories From Here and There’)

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Lessons in Movies – Runaway Bride

Runaway BrideJulia Roberts; Richard Gere, you remember that movie right? Good entertainment. There was a part in that movie (many of you have already discussed this over and over with people; in that case I am sorry to bring it up again) that really impressed me. I mean, I was actually flattered how thoughtful of that person who came up with the idea of that “egg theory” or that is what I like to call.

Egg theory - working out a bit too much with Speedy.

Maggie Carpenter (played by Julia Roberts) does not know how she likes her eggs (in above cartoon Speedy knows what he wants but apparently the server is a movie watcher like me who gets a bit too much influenced by the movie). But more important thing to notice, she orders her eggs just the way the guy she is with likes it. If you were the guy Maggie was dating and if you like “sunny side up” that is what she would order. (Spoiler Alert ahead)

Interesting part is at the end when she tries all kind of eggs and comes back to Ike (played by Richard Gere) and says, “I like, Eggs Benedict, I hate all other kinds of eggs”. The moment of realization.

Now, the lesson I see here through my eyes and the way my brains function is that a lot of us; perhaps all of us go through that same phase some time in our life.

We do not know ourselves. We may not spend any time in discovering ourselves at all. May be it is because we get highly influenced or sort of dominated by the other person around. It is all about self discovery. Whether you are at work or in a relationship or hanging out too much with certain someone; it is very obvious that you end up having some influence of that person. That is where we need to hold on to being ourselves. Try that today. Notice people around you and try thinking of the ways they move or talk or do other things and try to remember what really impresses you so much that makes you want to adopt it. There are chances you will realize that you already have adopted those things. Try to figure out is it worth keeping or not. Try more of discovering yourself. Try finding the real you instead of being dragged along with someone.

I have noticed people getting out of a relationship of a few years and feeling little lost to understand what they want and end up with someone who is totally not worth again. That happens because when you were with someone for so long you have changed. Everybody changes. There is nothing wrong in that. Just take your time to figure out again who you are, define yourself again. Do some self discovery about those changes and then move on. Always remember, 2 words “self discovery”- very important alright?

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Earlier I wrote a blog asking to notice people around you and adopt one good thing from them, to be super awesome all together carrying everybody’s 1 good thing in you. That is so not related here. It sounds confusing and mixed up but whole other story, okay.

Have a lovely day, thank you for reading 🙂

 

Music and Lyrics – explicit much?

Aah the lyrics in some of the songs these days just drive me crazy. Not because they do not make sense, but because they sound a bit too vulgar to be honest.

Following and above is going to be just my opinion. I do not mean to offend anyone. If you agree you would like what you read, simple as that.

I am a person who chooses to listen to music with good lyrics. When I say good I am talking about lyrics that makes sense. Lyrics that passes a good message. Hope I am not alone to notice this but songs releasing in past few months had spread only a message to get drunk, get high, smoke a joint and other R rated activities that they just have to promote.

What I do not understand is same music plays in most of all the clubs on a Friday or Saturday night, where the singers just abuse women; picture them as some material and then that same club is full of girls who are dancing to those beats and words. News flash we now also have female singers loving to abuse themselves or portraying herself somewhat disgusting yet making it sound “Cool”. What does not make sense to me is the part why would someone want to take abuse as a celebration or fun? Question in my head is why this generation has to make such a vulnerable choice?

Are we losing respect to ourselves as a person? Are we loving the part when we get abused?

There are rappers mostly who materialize woman and then again there are rappers like 2pac who said words like, “Since we all came from a woman, got our name from a woman, and our game from a woman. I wonder why we take from women, why we rape our women, do we hate our women? I think it’s time we killed for our women, be real to our women, try to heal our women, cause if we don’t we’ll have a race of babies that will hate the ladies, who make the babies. And since a man can’t make one he has no right to tell a woman when and where to create one.”

I have noticed myself changing my choice of music after few months in past 4 years. In that 4 years I have experienced different effects of the songs I listen to. That was the only reason I had to write this blog.

I ask you all to make a good choice of what you listen to. Because you may not experience this directly, but indirectly what you listen and what you see effects your behavior in everyday life a lot.

I ask you to listen to something positive and look at the positive things in your life. The more we surround us with negative or aggressive material, the more wilder animal we will become.  So, unless you choose to be a wild animal make sure you guard your eyes and ears and only let the good things get in.

I mentioned it before and again I mention it here, that above is my opinion. You do not have to agree with it. If you agree or disagree I would like to know why and how. Because above I said it is my opinion, I did not say I am right. So, please help me understand this if my opinion is wrong.

Thank you for reading.

Owner of the Emerald – story and a lesson

Here is a short true story with a few facts changed. It was published once in Time magazine. It’s a story of an Emerald stone.

There was a doctor who owned Emerald. He never had clue what it was. For him it was only a decorative stone he found somewhere once. After all he started using that stone as a paper weight in his office.

Gachala Emerald

One day a man walks into his office for some business who happened to have a lot of knowledge and value for jewellery and stones. He saw this Emerald sitting on the desk, which should actually belong all the way back hidden in some sort of safe. He instantly offered the doctor if he can buy the stone and settled a deal for a million dollars (trying not to be very unfair). The doctor was surprised and actually happy to struck such a deal that day.

After a month that man sold the Emerald for over 11 million dollars. That money could have been made by the doctor, but it didn’t work for him. Why? Only because he did not have any value for what he owned.

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Us and that doctor are so much alike. Often we do not understand the value of the character or talents that we possess and inspite of being owner of such valuable treasures we try to find happiness outside in materialistic pleasure. It is us who do not spend time and efforts to search the inside of ourselves to discover what potential we may have.

Arabs were poor before they figured out that there is a big load of treasure right under their feet – the oil. Once they found it look how rich they are now.

Same is this cartoon here, Speedy thinking he lost the map to get to the mountain while its right there sticking on his shell where he can’t see.

All of us are filled with such treasures. Think hard, try harder to look inside what good qualities you are filled with and use them for your benefit.

That’s the beauty of life – We spend whole life looking for something which is often found right under our feet. 

Have a good day. Thank you for reading.

Lessons in Movies – 1 (running after your passion – spoiler alert)

So this is only the first article under the topic of “Lessons in Movies” and there are going to be a few more.

These articles may contain “Spoiler Alert“, although I will do my best to keep the secret the way it should be – interesting and for you to find out.

Today’s movie pick (as I mentioned in yesterday’s blog is “The Big Year“).

Currently I am writing an e-book and there is a chapter in that book about “getting in touch with nature”. I must admit I found the most amazing way in this movie – The big year, to get in touch with nature. It is about birding.

Speedy Sparks birding on a day off

The story is about few passionate birders (people who like spotting different species of birds). These birders don’t describe birding as a hobby but they define it as a passion. That will remind you that every one of us has different passion. I am sure you are passionate about something in particular.

Now, there are three main characters played in this movie by “Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson“. There is a birder with a world record and he is trying to break his own record this year (in the story). There are other 2 main characters who are his competition. All three of them carries same passion for birding.

But they all are making different sacrifices and they all are prioritizing different things in their lives. That reminds me of some of us, who may put Passion first in life while others will make sure their passion do not cause any damage in other part of life. That is the lesson in this movie.

You will see a journey of these 3 competitors across america and other parts of the world just for spotting a bird. But these characters have different situations in their life and different challenges. This movie will teach you exactly by the end that how your passion can effect positively or negatively to your life.

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You see we all grow up doing different things; making different choices; loving something more than the other in our lives. But, at the end what matters is “your inner happiness and satisfaction” with the choices you made. 

This realization was the best moment in the movie. I must say you gotta watch it. Sometimes, not only the journey counts but it is also the ending or what some of us call the destination. Same quote I put down in the beginning of a chapter in my fictional book (as much as I love bragging about it, I confess I have hit a huge block in that fictional story which I haven’t managed to overcome in past month now. So, for now only moving on with my e-book. Thank God at least something is going on).

So, watch this movie and see if you find it interesting. I watched it just because the cast and crew sounded very interesting to me and at the end of the movie I felt I got away with more than just the entertainment.

You can make a difference even at -273C

Hey, so here is an interesting image I created to explain what would Speedy Sparks feel in different temperatures. He is just super awesome, so just flow with me and see where I am going with this okay.

Now, above you see is how well Speedy Sparks will survive in different temperature zones. He is doing fine even at 2C. He would be freezing to almost inactive at -100C and at -273C even he is nothing.

-273C = 0 K. Yes it is zero Kelvin temperature. Lord William Thomas Kelvin came up with this unit of measure in 1848. Don’t get bored yet, it gets better. Past 2 days I had been busy doing research on the internet; trying to find out all I can about absolute zero condition explained by Lord Kelvin. He came up with Kelvin as a measuring unit of temperature to measure extreme heat or cold.

Now, my question to you is if at 0 K that is -273C nothing can exist (even different gases in the air freezes by -222C), do you think Lord Kelvin went there personally to measure it and prove it. No, absolutely not. But, everyone believes his calculations; his experiments and world wide in the field of Science this Kelvin measure is used.

What I want you now to do is ask yourself a question, can you make any difference in the world? Well, Lord Kelvin came up with a revolutionary helpful measuring unit of temperature, why can’t we do something small or something new? Verbally, he made a difference at -273C; don’t you think we can do much better at a room temperature we are mostly surrounded with?

The beauty of this is he did lots of other things but there are million of other things that he did not invent. It was always a different person behind different inventions. I am not asking you to invent some materialistic thing to help mankind. All I am asking you is to believe in what I am saying and most of all believe in yourself that you can make a little difference around you and make this world a better place if you think a little extra. Just come up with some positive thought and pass it on, that would be a greatest invention we can use these days.

That’s all man, its that simple.

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Hope you enjoyed reading this and hope I made some sense. I was trying to keep my thoughts as clear as possible in order to explain what I want to say. Hope I could get it to you. Tomorrow gets better. I watched this movie called “the big year” last night starring – Steve Martin, Jack Black and Owen Wilson. Will talk about that movie here tomorrow. Just in case if it interests you and possible for you please watch that movie once today if you can.

Thank you for your precious time. I have a feeling I will be able to be lot more creative with the help of Speedy Sparks.

Cheers.

Speedy Sparks is here. Now!

VICTOR :

Hi, I am Victor. You may remember me from the article about “glass theory”, about the glass being half full and half empty. Well, agreed I kinda dressed up a bit nerdy in that one. You gotta do weird things for money these days man, we all agree to that don’t we? Ha ha….. so, guess what happened few days back. It was around 2 in the morning I heard someone knocking on my door. As I approached the door to open, I heard someone running away. Finally, when I opened the door I found this guy – Speedy. Well, it’s a snail but a pretty strong one.

I kinda stepped on him as I walked out of the door, didn’t crush him to my surprise. Uhh, let’s not talk about that. When I found speedy he was having a little red bow tied around with a note sticking on it (it was actually sticking on him somewhere else that I do not want to talk about). The note said, “This is Speedy Sparks. He is the only hope. Take good care of him.” I thought it was funny for a snail being named “Speedy”. Ironic right?

Pretty shy guy he was when I saw him first. Didn’t want to come out of its shell, but we ended up getting friendly after all. He is pretty cool actually. Although he is so slow made me late to work on Monday. That is because I took him to the park playing “Fetch” on Sunday. Poor thing didn’t make it back till next morning, hahaha. Anyways, I am going to bed. Nightey night.

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SPEEDY SPARKS :

They call me Speedy Sparks…….Why?

I am the fastest snail on this planet.

I worked hard because I wanted to prove the world wrong, that believes Snails cannot be speedy.

I was born with those racing stripes on my back.

My name “Speedy Sparks” is the proof that with enough inspiration and believing in yourself you can do anything and you can be anyone you wish to be. I must tell you it is a challenge being Speedy when you are a snail. But hey, little challenge never hurts.

I have the spark within, and it is my job to spread the light ahead and further. Anyone lacking that spark gets a good one from me.

Are you comfortable in your own shell. Because I am. And If you tell my master about my secret, I am going to cut your head off.

I am Speedy Sparks, and this is my secret identity that my master is not aware of.

He himself is being pretty demotivated often and that is why I am here to inspire him.

To remind him that hope is alive, and with enough of inspiration that is going to go further.

so back to same question, “Are you comfortable in your own shell?”

My friend you can never convince the world totally no matter how much you change yourself from outside. In fact it will only lead you changing yourself from within before you even know it, and soon you will not be “YOU” anymore.

The best way to go with it is, being comfortable in your own shell….uhh, I mean in your own skin. So, keep it that way. I must go for now.

Peace out!

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Ladies and gentlemen I hope you enjoyed reading today’s article and most of all I hope “Speedy Sparks” is entertaining enough as a blog mascot. Please leave your feedback or suggesstion. That would be greatly appreciated. Thank you so much for bearing me around here, and still following me faithfully. Love you all. Thank you for all your likes that inspires me to come up with interesting inspiring stories you will be reading ahead.

Thank you thank you thank you. 

A story of Two Brothers – Resolve conflicts.

An old widower died a few years ago leaving his 2 sons behind, a beautifully built house in the suburbs and a shoe factory. Both the sons knew how much hard work their parents had to do to have built a house like that. After losing both the parents, this house was the only sign left of the love there was in that family for one other.

As the time passed those 2 brothers got older. Every brick of the wall in that house was once full of love, had started feeling the coming of the unknown and unexpected. There was one day when the brothers got into a conflict. There was an argument about taking a decision over selling the old shoe factory. It was that night when for the first time the center wall of that house was shaken with a threat and so it started appearing with a little crack.

It was a month later when that crack in the wall got bigger, after taking all the vibrations from the growing differences between the two brothers and their own families. Sadly, both the brothers only noticed the crack but did not make an effort to fix it.

Now, finally the shoe factory is sold today. Both the brothers are living in the same house their parents built with love but it only looks a bit different now. Where there was a little crack once, there is a whole new wall which divides the center wall and so separating the house into two equal shares. Those brothers have changed the way that house looks; because now it has separate gates each facing east and the west, so they do not have to see each other’s face anymore. The very beautiful welcoming gate on the north side is rusty and on that gate hangs a giant chain with a five lbs heavy lock.

There were efforts; time; money; dreams and feelings put in making of that house. But now, only separation; division; envy; jealousy and silence practiced there.

What would you have done when you saw that crack first appeared? Would you have let it grow if you were one of those two brothers? We all seldom have, knowingly or unknowingly helped such cracks to grow into a whole new wall. Maybe we still are doing it every day.

Time takes actions quietly. Take control now. Say no to conflicts. Grow no conflicts – at work; at home and most of all in any relationships.

Take a moment and look over your shoulder. Look for any such conflicts in which you contributed to start with. Go back, try to correct it. Apologize if need to.

United we rule. United we grow. Together can we spread more love.

Say no to conflicts

Perfect Day

So, I am thinking I better start making the flow of my blog writing consistent. This week, if I remember correctly this is the 3rd consecutive day of me writing a blog. I still feel of having no pattern of publishing blogs. For now it looks like on a daily basis, but I have no assurance in my own head of doing that. Temporarily I have hit a writer’s block and not able to move forward with my book. I am stuck at chapter 6 where the protagonist is in Arizona, has no communication lately with the kid he is sponsoring in Africa. The protagonist is working with professional chefs who not only has cooking but life lessons to teach him as well. Now, being off from my work where I cook, then being scared of the writer’s block and not being able to make use of my day off for bringing that book to “the end” is my perfect day? I think not. 

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What is your perfect day? What does it even mean to have a perfect day? How does it come to you? Does it knock on your door when you wake up? or a night before does it leave you a wall post on your facebook account saying, “Long time no C, I’ma catchup wichya 2moro.” ? 

Does a perfect day means no rain but sunshine; no cold but warmth; no tears but laughter ? What can be a perfect day really? Why do we think of a perfect day? Why do we seek a perfect day? Is it something we plan to have and make it happen? Is it something we realize after we are done experiencing it? Well, that sounds more like it. 

So many thoughts you can put into “perfect day”. Do you ever feel that, may b it is just our perception? Can’t we have a perfect day everyday? I think we can. How? Well, if you think its just a perception, it should be easy just by changing your perception from something more positive, right?

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I think the perfect day is when we have learned and a lot about pleasing ourselves and have managed to do it effectively. It could be playing video games; having sex 5 times; going out in the sun. We all have different definitions of having a perfect day on hand. Doesn’t that make it very clear that it is just about perception? Sometimes after spending a very lazy day we realize we have nothing got done and the day just passed by you swiftly. And then comes the regretting part to make sure we do not have a perfect night either. 

Sometimes it is good to be lazy, sometimes it is good to have got a lot done. You may have plan with your life or your day, but the universe may already have a plan for you. You must have experienced starting your day full of nervousness and laziness and feeling “blah” as some of us like to call it and then by the end of it finding yourself as happy as a hungry panda set free in a jungle full of bamboos. In that situation you did not plan a perfect day, you only made plans to have yourself a day full of finding secured corner and saving yourself from those nerve wrecking projects and presentations. All you have to do is have a bit more of adventurous perception and be ready to ride that roller coaster for amusement of your own.

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If keeping ourselves happy and confident is our perfect day, let us turn every single day into our perfect day. Say no to fear, say yes to adventure. Say yes, in order to experience the worst to build yourself stronger. The sooner we get over all those negative thoughts or feelings, the better deal we get away with scoring more of perfect days. Stay positive, stay put. Nothing is going to go WRONG. Take your work as part of your routine. Consider every bad or challenging experience as an opportunity to grow yourself wiser and stronger. Remove the word “Bad day” from your dictionary. Say yes to a “Perfect Day”.

Only you have to answer yourself at the end of the day, you don’t need to answer anyone else. Did you spend your day happily? Did you learn something new? Did you make others around you happy? Did you make any difference? Make this questions answered in YES for real and you have a Perfect day. 

If you manage to do it everyday, your each day from now is guaranteed to be your “perfect day”.