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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Put family first

About 1500 school kids in America were asked in 2011, “what is it that makes a happy family?” Out of 1500 kids there was not a single one who said, “Money”. Instead most of them said “Warm Love”.

It was that easy to figure out for an innocent kid. Then why does it take us so long to figure it out?

I have seen people working really hard. They spend day and night after work. Almost like they are not working to live, they are living to work. But when you ask them why so much work you do? Mostly the answer is, “so that I can keep my family happy; I can buy stuff for my wife and kids; send my kids to better University.” or in some cases you hear that, “I want to buy a house or a store or a factory. Then I can keep my family happier. If I do not work hard where I will get the money from?”

Both examples above are real surveys that has been done in 2011.

Now, compare the answers that kids gave and what adults gave. Are kids asking for things or money? All they are asking for is “Warm Love”. Why adults/parents are working hard? So, that they can get more money and give their kids better future.

Now, ask yourself what is more important to you? Building a character of your son or daughter OR Having enough money to be able to send them to Yale; buy them expensive gifts on Christmas. Sure, they would love it. Even at the age of 27 I would also love to have someone giving me a hot-wheels car on Christmas.

The real question is, “what is more important ?” Gathering enough money or being there with the kids to have them feel that you are there. It is very important to spend time with your family.

I had stressed on the example of kids; because once again I have no hesitation repeating that “Kids are the future responsible citizens of this country”. As responsible citizens they will be holding the key to the future. I have mentioned this in 2 or 3 of my blogs before. I will not stop stressing on this same issue that the world is challenged with.

Besides the example of kids the above theory applies to anyone and every one in the family. You have to be sure that every one feels loved the way they deserve to, for whatever role they are playing in your family. Each member is important.

  • If it was not for your father or mother “YOU” will not be here. That “YOU-ness” that you are always so cocky about wouldn’t even exist today, if it was not for your parents. When you were scared as a kid it was them who hold you in their arms and said, “You are safe here with me”.
  • It was the woman you are married to who once said “YES” to you while you were on your knees feeling helpless because if this is not it you are doomed.
  • It was the man of your house that once comforted you in his arms saying, “I am here, I will make sure everything is going to be okay”.

Please value your family. I planned to publish this article especially on Friday so that all of you reading this can realize if you had been lacking in your efforts to put in your family and have the weekend to improvise. Get the family united.

Some monks especially insist on “family time” once or twice a week. Get everyone together; play a board game; do a movie night; have a talk to address everyone facing the problem in the house and find answers together that works for every one’s best.

Put Family First. Starting from now – this very moment!!! Have a lovely weekend.

 

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.

Chameleon Theory

A chameleon has an ability to change its color and blend into the surrounding. Human body does not have that ability of course. But, what we do have is our will that we have a control over.

Chameleon theory talks about being adjustable to your surrounding. The reason I called it Chameleon theory is because this characteristic is found in that certain reptile. It changes its color to fit in(mostly for protection). Take a pause and think how powerful and witty nature can get. Every creature gifted with different abilities. Simply amazing.

What we can learn from chameleon theory is to blend in to the surrounding no matter where we are. What makes us sad is not having things our way around us. But only if we try to accommodate to our surrounding by changing ourselves a little there is no room for sadness or disappointment left.

Look at Speedy Sparks here, blending into the surrounding. If you are familiar to Speedy Sparks (my blog mascot) looking at previous articles n drawings; you will find him here in this picture on a race track with his greenish red spotted shell with racing stripes (that’s just his birth marks).

(okay fine, its not the greatest or perfect example but it was a funny idea I had so here it is another cartoon of the day…ha ha…).

Easy enough to figure it out now that it is mostly us who attract and cause most of our disappointments. Only if we learn to adjust and be happy in the moment; into the place we are at, there is no way we can be unhappy.

Lesson learned from a chameleon without using any mean of communication and just by observation. Open your eyes and understand the values of what surrounds us, something on these lines is my tomorrows article about – owner of the emerald.

Have a great Monday and remember to practice “adjusting” today. Try it for a day and see if it works for you.

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. 

why Practice? and introducing SPEEDY SPARKS

So, I had been really busy doing something that I will tell you later but first I have an interesting story for you all.

I heard this story from Swami Jitatmananda (one of the most renowned monk of Ramakrishna Mission. If you would like to know more about him or Swami Vivekananda or Shri Ramakrishna I insist you go ahead, you will not regret it.) in my college days.

Higher detail image of Swami_Vivekananda.jpg S...

Higher detail image of Swami_Vivekananda.jpg Swami Vivekananda, September, 1893, Chicago, signed (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There was a boy living in one of the villages in India. This happened long ago when most houses in Indian villages used to have their own cows, usually right outside the house. In one of these houses there was a new-born cow.

This little 8-year-old boy was pretty strong. He used to love this calf so much he would lift that little calf on his back and go to every neighbors to show them. Eventually he started taking that calf everywhere he would go in the village. They both became best friends. This continued for years which was actually awkward for that boy’s parents to notice going on for so long.

The calf turned into a cow and the boy turned into a man. Not only their friendship stayed the same but this man was able to carry that cow anywhere he goes, lifting it on his back. The story ends here because lesson is sort of clear.

How many of us can carry a cow on our back? Are we strong enough? That boy could because he got used to do that everyday since he was a kid. His body got used to take a little extra load everyday. It was the practice that made him strong enough to lift and carry a cow on his back when he grew up and became a man.

So, practice and it will give you results. But besides practicing making impossible things possible I see more lessons.

It is also about resistance. You may not take a huge challenge at once. But if you make a little start today then tomorrow you can go big. You are not good enough to build a car, but if you start learning today about tires, give all your efforts, then educate yourself about an engine and other stuff (that I don’t know about) you can possible make your own car someday.

If you practice you become stronger and better at what you do.

If you start resisting little challenges and face them bravely, may be you can move mountains with a push of your hands tomorrow.

May be if you come to WordPress and read stories like this one and what other better writers put up every day you may get away with all the knowledge, all these writers had in their brains all together. 

Keep practicing what is good for you and keep it consistent. 

AND BY THE WAY “SPEEDY SPARKS” IS A CHARACTER I AM DESIGNING FOR BEING MY BLOG MASCOT, this is the other thing i was busy doing lately.

IN A DAY OR TWO YOU MAY KNOW MORE ABOUT HIM AND GET TO MEET HIM. JUST TRYING TO KEEP THIS INTERESTING.

Am I Racist?

One day a boy came crying to his grandfather.

The worrying grandfather asked, “What is the matter son?”

The boy replied in between the sobs, “My friend called me racist.”

The old man was shocked and trying to calm down his grandson he started talking, “Listen son, your friend Juan is Mexican. Aslam is a Muslim. Christina is Black. Peter is Scottish. Now, you all play together. You all go to one another’s house and equally treated by the parents. Neither we nor their family has any problems with that. In fact we all welcome everyone just the same way. We greet and meet everyone equally. Racism is nowhere near us okay. So, do not even say this again that you are racist. I wonder why after all you said that, where did you hear that from? Who called you racist?”

The boy said, “My friend-Juan, Aslam and Christina. They called me a racist just now. They all decided to race with each other and I did not want to race because last time I fell down and hurt myself really bad. So, they called me racist.”

The old man was touched by the innocence of the kids and got lost staring into nothingness.

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200 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

It is terrible when the innocence is interfered by reality. But it could be even more disturbing in a good way when indifference is touched by innocence.

Say no to Racism. And Olympics 2012 is knocking on the door so say yes to more RACES.

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

Building the future (help kids grow better)

Have you ever referred a few quotes from “Swami Vivekananda”? An Indian monk, who was one of the most influential leader of spirituality. When you read few of his words you would notice he is trying to inspire the “youth” of today. It is specially the young generation he inspires with his words to bring revolution. He did not do that for Indians only but for the people all over the world. 

If there is a lesson I have learned from reading many of all his words and if I would ever be asked to put all of that into one line, I would say “make sure your kids learn well and learn right”. Because, the kids; the new generation today is going to hold the key to our future. We have to put efforts into them in order to have our secured future. I don’t mean to sound selfish there. We have to make sure the future world is looking like a better place to live for them. We are not going to have lots of years to live if the hell on earth was created instead of heaven. It would be them left behind to deal with it. We are responsible. 

I like to spend time with my niece mostly in a way that she gets away with some learning. If nothing at least I can be sure if she is not with her parents, she needs to be around people who are good for her character building. 

She is only 5. Last weekend I spent time with her making our own story book because I could not take her to the library. I am still waiting on my fiction to get published but I realized this little story book of 5 pages is something I can call “my first book ever”. I tried to teach her a bit of optimism. Following are the pictures of all those pages from that little story book. 

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That story book was produced last week when I was tired of noticing her complaining and not satisfied with what she has. Believe me or not, “This worked”. 

Another day she was asking about getting a board game. Sure we can afford a few, but why should you spend money on something you can make at home that would help kids being more creative and also learn to do things by them selves. 

This is a picture of the board game we made about a month ago. 

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All she likes is Dora and Disney princess. All we did is get a few stickers from the store, crayons are always handy and so are the markers and we have a new board game. Few of you people may be annoyed thinking “how to keep kids busy”. Well making this game kept us busy for at least an hour or two. Later on she is even more busy playing this because this is designed the way she wants it. Her favorite characters, her favorite scene and her imagination combined with my creative side.

Believe me, no matter how hard it is to keep a kid busy but if you spend time with them I promise they will grow up listening to you or at least hopes are high. 

The building of the world tomorrow is totally up to the kids today. If we want a better world, we need to have thinkers, creators, artists and most of all optimists. 

(The pictures and ideas presented here or in any of my blogs are my personal creations and clicks. I am crossing those limits of copyrighting. I expect you do the same.)

The story book idea I have personally tried myself for few days, it seem to help.

HOPE YOU ENJOYED READING THIS.