He is #madeofgreat

When he quit his high paying job at a large MNC in the leadership team to start his own business venture at 40, what did he expect?

Apart from that thing called ‘follow your passion’ that was buzzing in his head, he  didn’t had much going in his favour.  His decision to leave the security and stability of a salary at the end of the month along with a bright career received no support and encouragement from people he considered close to him. They not only criticized and rejected his decision  some even mocked it.

He had only his passion, hard work, experiences of life and the will to make it big. And with all these he plunged into the big unknown world of entrepreneurship.

Within a year, the same friends and acquaintances started giving him, ‘we told you so’ looks. Yes, his start-up didn’t take off as per his expectations. They didn’t believe that it takes time to set up and establish a business! But the critics and setbacks didn’t stop him, because failure was not an option for him.

He didn’t let the lack of experience in this new field or the naysayers intimidate him. With a thirst for knowledge and willingness to dirty his hands literally and figuratively, he began to carve out a new entrepreneurial path for himself. From power dressing and review meets in board rooms he had moved to the growing and nurturing plants and livestock on a farm. It was a BIG change!

He met the farmers, the consultants and the specialists and learnt from their experience and knowledge. He experimented, he learnt. The journey was not easy, there were obstacles both big and small and a LOT of hard work as he pushed himself forward with an unwavering commitment to his dream and to his family.

While people suggested that he need not work hard and should just supervise on the farm, he believed in learning by doing along with the farm-hands and getting first-hand experience. He believed that these hard years will pave the way for great years ahead. The weather was harsh, the winters were extremely cold and in summers the regular temperature was around 45ºC. The terrain was tough with wild animals, bugs and insects frequenting the farm, frequently. He braved it all.

Like any other work, some days were bad days and things just wouldn’t work the way he wanted. The sick animals,  the infested plants, machinery breakdowns, intense heat waves, low funds, fluctuations in the market were some of the issues that impacted him. People would quietly advice him to get back to corporate world. But, something kept him going despite the obstacles, for he always found a way to move around the obstacles. It was an inner drive, an inner hunger to prove to himself that impossible is nothing. Staying positive and believing that if he keeps trying, the answers will be forthcoming, sooner than later.

Anyone else in his place would have given up long ago, but not him. Each struggle, each setback made him tough and strong as he fought and overcame it. Perseverance and seeking excellence became his mantra. He still has a long way to go in his chosen field but he has started seeing the fruits of his labour.

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Fruits of labor

Do you know who is this person #madeofgreat? He is none other than KG, my best half. He is undeniably #madeofgreat. He is a winner who is driven by self belief and the desire to excel and conviction to win. And am I proud of him?

The #madeofgreat campaign is confluence of two global brands-Tata Motors and Lionel Messi. Tata Motors has a DNA of trust, authenticity, reliability, simplicity, and innovation and Lionel Messi has talent galore with conviction and is trustworthy, reliable, pioneering, simple and driven by self-belief.

Here’s question for you, “What do you think of Tata Motors’ association with Lionel Messi?” The best comment for this question gets an Amazon Voucher worth Rs 750/-

Lessons from a Crashed Laptop

Life Lessons

9th July, 8.10 am… something unimaginable happened. My tech soul mate aka my Laptop died on me. That I was devastated,  was an understatement. I tried various plug points in the house to charge, re-inserted the battery, pressed the power button mercilessly, but the laptop refused to come to life.

I didn’t give myself the time to mourn, but simply galvanised into action. I made Sunita, my house help to rush through the chores and reached the dealer showroom where I had met-fallen in love-and finally married my tech soul mate. I thought, it must be the problem with the adapter power cable. So, I just had to buy the new one and believed that I would be re-united with my darling in a few minutes. But the service support detected problem with my laptop. Gasp!! Shock turned into momentary coma. While that guy was coolly replacing the new laptop cord in its box, I was impatiently waiting for him to revive my laptop. Finally, when he got my attention, I told him that I’d wait in the showroom, while he worked on my laptop. He smiled at me (I am sure, he must be wanting to laugh hysterically, though) and said, “Ma’am, this will take a day!” I couldn’t believe my ears. My world came crashing! I tried to cajole him to work on it faster, but he was firm.

Dejected and depressed, I called my real-life soul mate aka KG, who was out of town and in midst of some meeting. I shared the tragic and heart-breaking news with him. As I was going on and on about how such a thing could happen and how grief-stricken I was. KG suggested that I call our friend J and ask him to send his kids’ laptop to me. I called J immediately but his number was busy. While I was fidgeting with my phone and giving time to J to finish his call, he called me. Before I could say anything, he said that he is arranging to send the laptop. It took a few seconds for the brain to comprehend his words. As I was gushing with gratitude, I smiled at what KG had done. He knew that without my laptop, I’d be like a fish without water, so he called J himself and made it easier for me.

Soon enough, I had a laptop in my hands. I consoled myself and wished and hoped and prayed that I am united with my own laptop soon and started the laptop J sent me. I inserted my internet data card and it refused to work. I applied all my tech know-how to get the internet working on this laptop but to no avail. I called the customer care and spent an hour on phone with the various executives but the result were the same.  Finally, a tech support was assigned to visit home by evening and sort the issue. I thought, till he comes, let me check my Facebook, blog or surf in general on my phone. And guess what, the Murphy’s Law came true for me. Yes, everything does goes wrong all at once! The internet on phone was terribly slow and even Whatsapp messages were not getting delivered.

By this time, I was heartsick, fed-up and frustrated. I decided to snap out of this state and got ready to visit my Mom and Dad. They were thrilled to see me and the Kadhi-Chawal that Mom had made for lunch instantly made me feel better. There’s nothing like mom’s cooking to comfort and cheer you up. Rest of the afternoon was spent in chatting and relaxing with them.

In the evening, the tech support guy sorted the internet problem and I thought that the bad day was behind me.

I started writing a post for the blog and the laptop shut down on its own suddenly. It was a WTH moment! I looked at the laptop incredulously. This was the second laptop in a day that had died on me. Unlike my laptop, J’s laptop did wake up from slumber, but it continued to behave erratically. So, though, I had a laptop and a working internet, but I couldn’t do anything, not even lurk on the Facebook.

I just gave up on my tech world and entered the calm and often ignored space aka the kitchen. Next day was the birthday of our friend’s daughter and I thought of baking a cake for her.

I actually prayed before gathering the cake ingredients, that nothing should go wrong now, given the bad day that I had had since morning.

And… nothing went wrong!

I  graduated from making the regular tea time cakes to an innovative cake, that day. Yes, I made this gravity defying cake. Isn’t it cool!

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The Gems are  a little less in this picture, but I bought more and added to the cake later which gave it a well full of Gems look. The birthday girl loved her gift and all the others at the party were in awe of it too.

So, for a day and half, I was forced to refrain from using laptop and internet. I realized how dependent and addicted I am to my gadgets and that I share a very unhealthy relationship with technology. How miserable I was when my laptop crashed. How weird it was that if the internet was not working, I didn’t know what to do with the laptop. Without my phone, I’d be restless. Though I wouldn’t be expecting those earth shattering or momentous emails or messages on phone, but every message notification makes be go and grab my phone.

This day and a half made me realize that though gadgets have become an integral part of our lives, but there’s more to life than Facebook, RTs on Twitter or blog or silly messages on Whatsapp. It is important to take a break from the technology especially social media which takes away most of my time. It is important to enjoy and savor life outside the tech world. I have heard and seen a few blogging friends do the digital detox. And I think, I need it too. I think, I need to find the balance in appreciating and using technology the right way, but still knowing when to turn it off to experience life to its fullest.

I know, a digital detox would not be easy initially but I know that it would be rewarding for both me and my life.

Do you share a healthy relationship with technology?

spicysaturday

Life Lessons from Our Dogs

cooltext1740614227Last week, KG and his team were relaxing after the hard day’s work at our farm. Suddenly, they heard loud and incessant barking of our three dogs, Copper and Carbon (Dobermans) and Nickel (Grey Mastiff). KG saw them barking and moving  around something in a circle from far. He realized that something was amiss. He rushed towards them. Seeing him come near them, Nickel ran towards KG and stopped him midway. KG tried to move ahead but our big boy wouldn’t just let him take even a step further. It took a moment for KG to understand what it was all about. There was a black cobra on the farm. Soon, it was guided to move further ahead into the wilderness. This incident made us learn a very important lesson that day.

And the more we reflected on it, the more we realized that there are so many life lessons we can learn from our four-legged friends. Sharing a few of the life lessons from our dogs…

  • Protect your territory : A stranger /first timer on our farm has a tough time entering our premises, thanks to our three canines. They are fiercely protective. They’ll fight anything to save us from any danger.
  • Let go and move on: Despite the reprimands our dogs get for polishing off the dinner that lay unattended for a while at the farm, or for biting / terrorizing some people … they never hold a grudge or harbour resentment. They forgive and forget easily and move on and are back to their loving self pretty soon.

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    Aaryan and Nickel

  • Show love in big and small ways : From laying their heads on our laps when we are sitting or never leaving KG’s side at night to barking wildly and jumping up and down when we meet them after a while, our dogs let us know we are loved every single day.
  • Be understanding : The other day, a major sandstorm caused quite a havoc at the farm. As KG and his team huddled together and waited for the storm to pass, the three of them sensed the mood and the low energy around. Without any verbal language, they understood and comforted KG and sat close to him. They know the power and importance of ‘being there’ for somebody.
  • Sizes and titles aren’t everything : Copper and Carbon are siblings and are with us since they were a few months old. Nickel came on our farm just by chance. His earlier master could not take care of him, and requested KG to take him in on the farm. Carbon and Copper were babies and acted like a team in front of the old, giant and imposing sized, Nickel. But they just took a day to get acquainted with each other and learnt to live peacefully and happily together.

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    Carbon and Copper

  • Be loyal and dependable : When Nickel joined us, he was sick and weak and had a big wound too. KG took great care of him and by the grace of God, Nickel recovered pretty soon.  A dog knows what and who is important in his life and sticks by them, no matter what!
  • Love unconditionally : Nickel drools and slobbers a lot. His saliva is so slimy that it takes some effort to wash it off. A cleanliness freak like me hates his sticky mess. How much so ever I try to thwart his attempts, he’d always greet me with his big wet (and sticky) kisses and wagging of his tail. He is never afraid to show how much he loves despite me being mean to him.
  • Enjoy the simple pleasures in life :  Life is fun for our dogs. They greet each day with enthusiasm and a sunny outlook. They can play with a log of wood with equal zeal as with a chew toy bought from a pet store. The way they attack food with gusto and lick their plates clean makes me wonder if we are feeding them right. A ride in the car is as fun as is the ride in the lorry truck. Taking naps and stretching is important for them. No joy is too small for them to appreciate.

Our dogs have enriched our lives, but even more so, they have taught us some of the greatest life lessons.

Linking this to Write Tribe Festival of Words #4 Day 7 for the theme Creativity and Inspiration!

tangytuesday

Gift a Life

It is called the gift of life. No words can ever express gratitude for this selfless act of passing on the gift of life. It is the legacy that we can leave behind… a priceless treasure that would be cherished by receiver and his family and our loved ones too.

Yes, I am talking about Organ Donation.

Organ Donation is the process of giving an organ or a part of an organ for the purpose of transplantation into another person.

Becoming an Organ Donor is a win-win situation for all. Here are some reasons why, we must opt for organ donation:

  • This one act of ours can help save lives and make a difference. Make a DifferenceExperts say that the organs from one donor can save or help as many as 50 people!! Organs and tissues that we can can donate include kidneys, heart, liver, pancreas, intestines, lungs, skin, bone and bone marrow, cornea, heart valves and veins. Organs are used to save lives by replacing diseased organs with healthy ones. Corneas are transplanted to give sight and heart valves are used in valve replacement surgery. Skin grafts are used for burn victims. Bone, tendons and ligaments, veins can be used in reconstructive surgeries.

 

  • It can give a second chance at life to the organ recipients. For some, an organ transplant means no longer having to be dependent on costly routine treatments to survive.  It allows many recipients to return to a normal lifestyle and/or have a better quality of life.

 

  • Our own families may take comfort in the fact that their loss may help to save or improve the lives of others.

Organ Donation

Around this time, last year, I pledged to donate my organs. I have requested that after my death any part of my body be used for transplantation. I carry this card in my purse always. And my family knows about this wish of mine. I just hope that they do remember to carry out this wish at the right time.

My Organ Donor Card

They say in the midst of darkness, an enduring light shines strong and bright. It is the light of hope. So, give the gift of hope to someone. Gift a life to somebody. Be an Organ Donor.

Light

Organ Donation… What do you think about it?

Linking this to #WorldOrganDonationDay Blog Carnival. Join us and read some more posts for this carnival at Vidya’s Blog.

My Day, Yesterday

No, there was nothing spectacular about my day yesterday. It was a regular day, like any other normal day that had Aah! to Aha! Moments.

Got up in the morning to see dense fog outside the window and the first thought was to get back into the warm quilt but then one has to earn their daily bread and butter and jam! So, without much ado, started with the daily chores of logging on to Facebook, liked a few pictures and a couple of status updates, then read comments on the blog, wished Good Morning to friends on WhatsApp and while I was about to check Twitter, my phone rang. It was Krishna Bai’s husband informing that his wife wouldn’t be coming to work, as they had some work at the bank!  An Aah! moment for me!!

And this reminds me that we are so glad that we all got our Aadhar Cards. KG and I got it last month while Aaryan got his yesterday! Did I tell you that my picture, the one  clicked by the executive at the Aadhar card centre was like a mugshot of a criminal. I requested the young lad to click another one. He obliged immediately with a smile, though KG was seen clicking his tongue!

Aaryan asked me yesterday, if we could watch Dhoom 3. I immediately logged on to the website and found that there were only 2 shows in the evening and both wouldn’t suit us. The one at 6.30 pm was too early as KG wouldn’t be home by that time and 10 pm one was too late. Since this movie isn’t in KG’s (and even mine) Must See List, so I suggested that Aaryan and I can go for a morning/afternoon show. The child though is keen to watch this D3… guess, he is under a lot of peer pressure, simply declined my offer. He said that he’d watch a movie with all 3 of us together! I was speechless, my eyes brimmed with happy tears and it was truly a proud and a Aha! moment. When this was narrated to the Dad later in the evening, he has promised that this movie would be watched by all 3 of us soon!

Had a small chat with a friend and she generously and lovingly decided to share a few of her books with me. Am I thrilled? Every door bell that’s been ringing after that conversation makes my heart believe that it’s the courier from her! By the way, a few of us decided to play Secret Santa to each other. Yes, Christmas surprise has spread over to the New Year! I have done my Santa duties and am now waiting keenly for my Secret Santa to bring my goodies! So much of excitement and anticipation is in the air!

The day is special also because, I taught Aaryan about the ‘art’ of making a perfect cup of tea for me. He has been a eager student and wants to do all things on his own, without my intervention, but the motherly protective instincts take over.

So, this day goes into the memory of this blog, for Aaryan to re-visit these memories sometimes later. How was your day today?

Linking it to January 2014 Ultimate Blog Challenge and NaBloPoMo

To read posts by fellow friends and UBC and NaBloPoMo participants, click here Jairam, Kajal, Kathy, Michelle, Nabanita, Richa, Suzy Que, Sheethal. Yes, we can do we with some more cheering and support. :)

20.12.2013

It’s my birthday today. I turn another year older and another year wiser. Older? Wiser? I thought of replacing older with younger, but guess that’s too clichéd. For the wiser part, well I’d like to entertain myself today with this thought, after all, it is my special day!

I am not at all fussy about the way my birthday should be celebrated, but I do like to receive wishes from my family and friends. And, since last year, I am looking forward to wishes from Google, the God too!

Google

Needless to say that I really look forward to wishes from my boys! You may wonder, what is there to pine for birthday wishes from the husband and the child.

Well, the thing is that they both are blessed with memory (for birthdays) like a sieve. Unlike me who has a memory like an elephant especially for important days and dates, these two guys can’t remember the one birthday that they should not be forgetting at any cost! And, here they are, they simply miss wishing me! Ok, I was exaggerating a bit, I actually mean that they do wish, but after they have had sufficient subtle and many in-your-face hints! I mean, they are not like me who would plan for birthdays, days in advance and plan for nice surprises. Thankfully KG, when asked, knows my birthday of course he wouldn’t remember to wish me on the D-day!

I remember a few years ago, on my birthday, like every other day, KG and I were having our morning tea with newspapers around us. The man, as usual, didn’t remember that it’s his wife’s birthday! He realized it was my birthday when he heard me saying ‘Thank yous’ on two consecutive calls!

The other year it was the pings on my blackberry that woke him up from his slumber.

Last year, it was Facebook which reminded him when he was in the loo!!

And this year, he remembered it but after a while. It was certainly not his first thought after waking up, but after a few stretches and yawns, the realization dawned on him. Thank God for small blessings!

And the child!! Well, KG had to remind him to wish me!! Sigh!!

When I met Aaryan last month to bring him back home for vacation, the first thing he asked me after the pleasantries was about my birth date. I dodged that question. He then told me that he has bought a gift for me! How innocent kids can be!! They certainly can’t keep secrets! I asked him about it and this time he dodged the question. I left it at that and this morning he presented me a book. And I am touched and amused at the same time.

Aaryan knows about my love for books so he thought of buying a book for me during the then scheduled town visit on 14th November. Somehow the town visit got cancelled. But the school band was rewarded with a town visit for their efforts during all the school functions. Aaryan requested his class mate, Krishh who is a part of the school band to buy a book. Aaryan, of course knows only about Geronimo Stilton, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, A to Z Mysteries Series etc and has no clue about Mommy’s reading tastes. Of course, as expected Krishh was equally clueless. Given his knowledge, age, comprehension, he bought this book for me.

Whatisaw

I would love to know what thoughts Krishh had while buying this book. This book is meant for teenagers, but I am looking forward to reading it soon!

Last year, my birthday had a special date of 20.12.2012 and it is special this year too… 20.12.2013!

Spring Cleaning

It’s that time of the year when my OCD for cleaning reaches an all time high. Yes, it’s time for spring-cleaning. Diwali is around the corner.

I made a list. Yes, my no work starts without a list. KG saw me preparing this list of things-to-do room-wise. Since he is familiar with my routine…. clean everything single-handedly during the day and cry/crib during the night for the aches and the pains. He tried to distract me from my mission saying that our home looks absolutely clean and there isn’t any need for me to waste my energy over mundane things. While, I found his words very endearing, KG knew that he had just wasted his breath!

So since the beginning of this week, I am doing something or the other and ticking off the done things from my list. While sorting the cupboards, I realized that I have so many clothes which I have not worn for years!! Some have sentimental value attached to them, some I believe, I would fit in one day, AGAIN!! While there are some clothes which no longer suit my dressing sensibilities. This time, I let my head rule the heart and let go of a huge pile of clothes. The maid took a few of them and rest have been packed to be given at Mother Teresa Home. I can feel the cupboards breathing a sigh of relief.quote

This spring cleaning made me realize that there are so many things that I probably own too much! Take for example the bed-sheets… I have so many single bed-sheets with cartoons which were used for Aaryan’s bunk bed. Now that we have disposed off his bunk-bed, I somehow, don’t have the heart to give these bed-sheets to anybody!

Another ‘too many’ at our home are tacky useless gifts that we have received from our ‘friends and well wishers’!! The vases, the wall clocks, the photo frames, the framed landscapes or pictures of gods… I don’t know, how they keep multiplying in the cupboards!

My library cupboard is overflowing with books but I strongly believe that one can never have too many books.

I also found so many things which I thought I had lost, during this spring cleaning!! 😛

Today, it was time to spend some time in the kitchen. The ‘some time’ lasted 5 hours!! I was shocked and embarrassed to see the number of plastic takeaway containers of different shapes and sizes, lunch boxes, water bottles, freebies like sippers, plates, spoons and forks, which were occupying huge space in the kitchen cabinets. The cabinets are feeling so light and free as their rarely used occupants have been given to the eager-to-take maids and the kabadiwala who was so happy to find new stuff other than the newspapers from our home.images I haven’t figured out though about the odd set of glasses that are adorning the crockery almirah!

The fridge is looking so sparkling clean and organised that I am finding excuses to open and admire it.

My fingers are tired and aching with all that scrubbing and cleaning, but they are so happy to type this post.

KG just came back from work, moments ago and I took him to the kitchen to admire my hard day’s work. He looked around and said, “It looks just the same!!” Aarggghhh! What was I expecting??

Linking this post to the Ultimate Blog Challenge and October’s NaBloPoMo.

Spouse Grouse

LettersUnset

My Dearest KG

They say the way to a man’s heart is through is through his stomach. And right from our courtship days you left no opportunity to drive this point home. A girl who was busy with her lab work and books all her life till then and with parents who believed that education was more important than acquiring culinary skills, this passion of yours, for food, scared me a bit. Mom tried to put me at ease and taught me some basic recipes in a jiffy. But you took the reins in your able hands soon after our marriage. I found an enthusiastic teacher in you and you, an eager to learn student. Every other day, after we returned back from our respective offices, we worked together in the kitchen as you showed how to make various dishes with your step-by-step instructions. In no time, I mastered the art of cooking and you beamed with pride and showered compliments every now and then.

With passage of time, my interest in cooking got stuck at making good tasty 3 regular meals, while your passion for cooking soared to learn and experiment newer and exotic dishes. Some 50 cookbooks in our home library along with Kylie, Jamie, Nigella through their TV shows, inspired you to cook newer recipes with élan. I have told you this a million times but let me tell you this again that you have this awesome ability of putting seemingly incongruent ingredients together in such a way that they work amazingly well, always.

While I love the way you cook such fabulous meals on weekends, surprise us with newer dishes every now and then and that entertaining friends at home is always a pleasure because of you. But what I am not liking is the feeling that I get every time… the feeling that I am picked up by a tornado and released abruptly amidst a shower of debris and rubble, once you leave the kitchen after creating magic with food.

While your favorite chefs are cooking for a TV show, so it is ok for them to leave a part of the grounded paste in the mixer jar or use only part of the soaked rice. But following your ‘Gurus’ habits in our kitchen translates into wastage of food resources!

While you are so fair and square in everything else in life, I can’t understand your biasness towards the food cooked by you! You can’t stop gloating about the dishes you cook, yes, even the ones which have no salt or the ones which have a tinge of burnt food aroma!

While you know it very well that I am perfectly happy with my level of daily cooking and I have no desire, whatsoever to don your chef’s hat. Then, why is it that you are so competitive with me about cooking, so much so that you’ll not tell me the ingredients you used for the new curry.

While you believe that food is all about creativity and experimentation with flavors and ingredients. Why do you frown when I try to experiment a bit in our regular food. Given my interest in cooking, my experiments with food only goes up to adding coriander powder in some dish or dry mango powder somewhere. I know some of your experiments are really crazy, for instance the day I was coming back home with Aaryan, you had made rice kheer among other things. We all oohed and aahed at the wonderful sweet dish till you asked us with a mischievous and a proud look, the secret ingredient in it. As you vetoed all the regular ingredients that could have been added in a kheer, we ‘begged’ you to shed light on the mysterious ingredient. Proudly, you said, “Egg yolk”. Mom who is a vegetarian and who relished the kheer so much, moments ago,  nearly puked. Egg yolk in a rice kheer? who adds that??  Well, YOU!!

As I write this I realize that the benefits of having a husband as a chef certainly outweigh the rants I have just  shared.

So, dear husband, continue to create magical flavors and may the fragrant aromas waft from our kitchen, always.

Happy cooking and looking forward to see you cook your signature dish soon, tomorrow.

Love You

SG

This is written for Write Tribe – Letters Unsent #4  : Your current love/ spouse/ crush

Linking this post to the Ultimate Blog Challenge and October’s NaBloPoMo.

The Day That Was Yesterday!

**Long Post Alert**

I saw, Suzy Que’s prompt on Write Tribe yesterday and I was thrilled. Thrilled, because she gave a tutorial on Free Write. Free Write, Suzy explained is to write down whatever comes into your mind for 15 straight minutes either as a word purge (no topic at all) or on a prompt. You must check her post for all the Dos and Don’ts. Coming back to the thrilled part. I realized that all my Live Blogging posts from Railway Stations, Trains or Bus or Airports are actually Free Writes. I was not aware of the term but I have done a lot of posts which can be categorized as Free Writes. Thank you Suzy for enlightening! 🙂

Since, I mentioned ‘yesterday’ in this post, let me share my ‘spectacular’ day that was yesterday.

Early in the morning, Krishna our maid, came and started doing the dishes and few minutes later the kitchen was flooded with water. No points for guessing, the drainage pipe was clogged. Both Krishna and I tried all the tricks in the book to get the water flowing smoothly in the drain, but alas! we failed. The sweeper, Mahesh was called. He assessed the situation and we had a conversation that reads like this…

He : I will charge Rs 200 for the job.
Me : Rs 200 is way too much for this task.
He: This is the standard rate. You can check with the Apartment Supervisor.
Me: Ok.

As he got busy with the task, I called the Supervisor and checked the rates with him. He informed, Rs 100, if some chemicals are used and Rs 50 without usage of any chemicals.

In flat 5 minutes, Mahesh got the drainage system working and gushing. I gave Rs 100 to him after explaining that I had a word with the Supervisor about the fixed rates. No, he had not used any chemicals. This cheeky guy kept the money on the kitchen slab and walked out and said arrogantly, “I am not taking Rs 100!” I was shocked but calmly dialled the Supervisor’s number and explained that I was magnanimous enough to give him Rs 100 for the job but it is still not acceptable to Mahesh. A chat with the manager and Mahesh left with Rs 100!

God! I dislike this brash attitude and kicked myself for paying Rs 100 instead of Rs 50. God knows, what was I thinking then.

Later in the day, while we were on our way to the bank, I told KG that I want to have tea, this very moment. He gave me a look which when translated verbally meant, “you and your desires!’” And  guess what, just a few minutes later, we had the best coffee with the bank manager. Small joys make a big difference, truly!

In the evening, I went to Easy Day which is on the ground Floor of our apartment. The guard was not at the entrance and 2 small boys on their way out from the store stood under air door and enjoyed the cool air which was a contrast to the hot and humid weather outside. I did not interrupt their joy of feeling the cold air on their faces and waited for them outside the store. Seeing me smiling at their moment of bliss, they hurriedly left with a broad smile.

The cook was on leave yesterday. She is unwell. *SIGH* I checked the dinner options with KG. We zeroed on vegetable stew. I was about to hang up and KG said, ‘You just do the preparations, I will cook’. This arrangement suits me well 😉 He came from work (I work too but I am home by 4.30 pm) and made the vegetable stew and all through the dinner and even after it, he could not stop himself from gloating about his cooking. The stew was simply awesome, no doubts about that. But what is this with chefs? They are so much in love with the food they cook. Even in the cookery shows on TLC, Zee Cafe, before the food hits their taste buds, all the chefs are quick to say, “Oh this is delicious’ or ‘Perfect’ or make those ‘Ummms and ooohs’ sounds .

I mean I cook well but I never talk about it. That’s another story that I beam with pride when Aaryan is back from his boarding school and he says,  “Ma, you make Rajma today (not the maid) or I miss your Kadhi at school”.

Talking about Aaryan, he will be home in the first week of October, just for a week! But we are all excited and I have already booked my tickets to bring my baby home!

How was your day yesterday?

Written for Write Tribe : Free Write  Prompt for 15 20 minutes

WT

Do Right… The Earlier, The Better

That year Aaryan’s birthday was on a holiday. Though a party with his friends was planned in the evening, but a major part of the day was devoid of any activity for the birthday boy.

While, we were brainstorming about the things we could do to continue the celebrations, right from the morning till night, KG suggested that we visit the SOS Children’s Village. As part of his company’s CSR, he and his colleagues had visited the SOS Children’s Village, a few days ago, for sponsoring the education of senior students. We immediately made plans to visit the place and bought snacks, biscuits, sweets, chocolates and other food items.

We had read enough in the media, seen the pictures on the notice boards of institutions, heard a few stories about children in orphanages. But what we experienced there cannot be described in words.

We were given a tour of the entire property.  What we saw there moved our souls. There were some 80 kids of all ages. Seeing a few toddlers was heart-rending, and when one 2 year old started bawling to be in my arms than that of the care-taker, it just broke my heart.

While KG went with the Manager of the Home to discuss some official details, the children surrounded Aaryan and me and asked us if we would like to see their dormitory.

All the kids in the dorm tried to seek our attention. Some showed us their books, some toys, a girl showed her embroidered kurta, and some their drawings. Every child had a smile on his/her face. While, I was chatting with the kids and asking them about their favorite subjects at school or the games they enjoyed, a few boys asked Aaryan, if he would play with them. He agreed readily. While they were playing with the ball, a boy of Aaryan’s age asked him, “How does it feel to stay with your parents? They must love you a lot!!”

I turned around to see Aaryan’s reaction. He was stunned. A boy of 7 must have never thought about this question ever. But it hit him somewhere.

On our way back he had a lot of questions. We told him that there are so many vulnerable children who spend their childhood in orphanages, without the love and care of a family. The lucky ones still get food, clothes, bed, an education and a roof over their heads in such institutions. But there are so many who have no access to even the basic needs and struggle on their own from such a young age. We discussed about how life would be in general for these kids, their experiences, their feelings. We talked about thinking from their perspectives, trying to be in their shoes. We explained how a small effort or a smile or a word of encouragement can brighten somebody’s life…

And that birthday was a starting point of lessons for Aaryan in compassion. It is a ritual to visit SOS Children’s Village and Mother Teresa’s Home, every now and then. At these places, he…

  • Serves food to the kids and the elderly
  • Plays games with the children at the orphanage
  • Talks to the lonely and hurting elderly people at the Mother Teresa Home
  • Shares toys, clothes, books with the children
  • Smiles at everybody he meets.

Few months ago, we were waiting at the traffic signal. A small child selling some paper napkins saw Aaryan fidgeting with the McDonald’s Happy Meal toy, which he had got a few minutes ago. Before we knew what was happening, Aaryan rolled down his side of the car window and gave the toy to that child. Both the kids exchanged a smile.

They say, compassion is something that can be taught and developed; the earlier, the better! I am glad that my child is learning and practicing this lesson of life from a very young age.

I am sharing my Do Right Stories at BlogAdda.com in association with Tata Capital.

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