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Showing posts from March, 2018

AN ELEPHANT AND A BETEL NUT

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Iwas a school boy, when I first heard from our teacher the famous proverb in Kannada, “AaneyKaddaru kalla, adike kaddaru kalla.Means: A thief is a thief whether he steals an elephant (Aaney) or a betel nut (Adike).There was a huge blackberry (Jamun) tree in our neighborhood. In season time, this tree attracted lots of kids, which included me. Some of us climbed the tree to steal jamuns, and some of us threw stones to get them… till, the land-lady came screaming and abusing, a long stick in her hand. For her, we kids were ‘thieves’… “Aaney kaddaru kalla, adike (in this case, Jamun) kaddaru kalla!Whenever I look back at these episodes, my heart smiles: I am a thief… Not a big thief. I am a cheat… Not a big cheat. I am a liar… Not a big liar. I am a sinner… Not a big sinner. But, the fact remains: whether I steal an elephant or whether I steal a betel nut (Or, our neighbor land-lady’s jamuns), thief I am…Am I not?So many childhood incidents of cheating’, lying’ and stealing come before …

THE RAM LEELA MAIDAN

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“The fire that warms us can also consume us; it is not the fault of the fire.”
- Swami Vivekananda

I admire the steely faith that drives Anna Hazare’s life. He was, is and will be a simple village soul… Not afraid of any kind of brute force around him. His ideals are lofty and he believes in them like an innocent child does. The politicians, businessmen, religious hardcores and even masses find his ideals not practical…
So, every time Anna Hazare fasts unto death, I feel bad and sad for him. He is such an honest man… such a courageous and steadfast man! But, deep in my soul, I know, his fast will only go in vain.
Look, what’s happening, right now, on the Ram Leela maidan, where his fast has entered the 6th day! Where are those so-called conscious-keeping activists of 2011 – a Kejriwal, a Kiran Bedi, a retired Army Chief and the like? Where are the Super Stars who hogged the limelight sitting with Anna? Where are our political parties and their leaders?



WOW! WHERE DID YOU LEARN IT FROM, BETA?

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Some days ago, a woman called me. “Sir, I have heard about your P.D. programme during the summer. I have an 8-year-old daughter. As her school system is June to June, she will not be able to attend your timings. She is a very intelligent and confident girl… Very expressive and sensitive, too. Is there something you can do for her?”
“Ma’am, she is just 8, and has in her everything a parent desires to see in a child,” I said, “Don’t worry about our P.D. programme. You can always enroll her in the future.”
“But, sir, her school schedule will never suit your summer programme,” the mother insisted, “I just want her to ‘learn something good’ from your place.”
The same day, the mother signed up for her little one. And, we took off… Let me tell you this: This kid is a whiz kid… A joy to behold… a pride to associate with!

One of the reasons why I do what I do is: I get tremendous amount of fulfillment from the thought, that I am a part of someone else’s success story. It may sound  like a selfish …

LET'S NOT TEACH OUR CHILDREN TO ASK WHO IS RIGHT AND WHO IS WRONG

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“No one cares how much you know, until they know how much you care” 
― Theodore Roosevelt

What is happening in Syria is happening in Syria… We aren’t affected by it, you see. We have our own problems… Why add more worries to our own? This is human tendency… You and I, generally, choose to look the other side when it comes to ‘others’ problems. I am no angel or saint. I, too, look the other side, so often, when I come across ‘others’ problems’…
A dear friend of mine has been showing her concern towards lakhs of little children affected by the brutal Syrian war. She has been sharing heart-wrenching images to make her friends, like me, feel a little more sensitive and empathetic towards these helpless children, who are caught in the crossfire of human greed and ego.
I don’t do what this friend of mine does about Syrian children… Yes, both of us live here, thousands of miles away from Syria… Both of us are ordinary citizens… We are aware of our limitations… “What can we do to change the situa…

OUR FEARS AND SELF-DOUBTS CAN BE OUR GREATEST FRIENDS

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A couple of years ago, a young girl had joined our P.D. course. The girl was very confident and enthusiastic. Sometimes, her mother would come to see me and tell, “Sir, my daughter doesn’t’ need this course, but son (who was in 9th standard at that time) needs it badly.”
“Why can’t you bring him here, ma’am,” I would encourage the mother, “He has nothing to lose.”
“Sir, I have been trying to persuade him for so many years… He resents. I have tried all kinds of doctors, therapies and schools… But, his problem remains… The only thing that calms him down is his family – my husband, me and my daughter.”
When they had come to enroll their daughter for our P.D. course, this woman and her husband, strangely, did not discuss with me about their son who needed help… So, they ended up enrolling the daughter, who, as I said earlier, appeared confident and enthusiastic.” So, this time, after a month, when the woman spoke about her son, I asked, “Ma’am, why didn’t you and your husband discuss with me…

LENTEN MISSION OF A DIFFERENT KIND

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This is Lanten season for us, the Christians. It is ingrained in our consciousness, that this is a time we should spend in reflection and reconciliation. We pray intensely during this period… We confess, repent for our sins… We fast, and, above all, seek forgiveness from God and seek His grace and strength to make a fresh beginning. Personally, to me, this time is the most enriching and moving time of the year… I feel the closeness to God more during this period than I feel during the rest of the year. I feel, yes, a lot humbled and human during Lent.
One of the main church activities, during Lent (apart from the traditional Way of the Cross), is Lenten Missions. Almost all the Catholic churches hold these very inspiring and revival Missions. There are special preachers (like Redemptionists) trained for years in conducting this kind of renewal Missions during Lent. These priests are invited by different churches to hold these Lenten Missions; mostly, late in the evenings, for the conv…
THE WILD, WAYSIDE FLOWERS
There is, always, something extra-ordinary in the wild, wayside flowers...