Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Gardener

He was pruning the plants in the posh gardens of an International school. 

The scorching heat and dust didn't seem to affect him….

"Ganga Das, Principal Ma'am wants to see you…. right now".

The last two words of the peon had lots of emphasis on them, trying to make it sound like an urgency.

He quickly got up, washed and wiped his hands and headed towards the Principal's chamber.

The walk from the garden to the office seemed never ending... his heart was almost jumping out of his chest….

He was trying all the permutation and combination to figure out, as to what has gone wrong that she wants to see him urgently....

He was a sincere worker and never shirked from his duties...

knock knock...

"Madam, you called me?"

"Come inside..." an authoritative voice laced with crispness made him further nervous...

Salt n pepper hair, tied neatly in a french knot, a designer sari-sober and very classic, glasses resting on the bridge of her nose...

She pointed out towards a paper kept on the table...

"Read this"...

"B..but Ma'am…. I don't know to read....

Ma'am please forgive me if I have done anything wrong... give me another chance...
And he broke down in fear….

"Hold on, you assume a lot... Let me call a teacher in, she will read it out and translate it to you...."

Soon enough the teacher was called and she started reading it, translating each line in Hindi...

It read- Today is Mother's Day and we have been asked to write an essay on “Mother”….

I belong to a village in Bihar, a tiny village where medical and education still seem like a far-fetched dream. Many women die every now and then while giving birth. My mother was one of them too. She has never held me in her arms. My father was the first person to hold me…. or perhaps the only person.

Everyone was sad and angry at me.. as I was a girl and I had "eaten up" my mother at birth itself.
My dad was instantly asked to remarry but he refused.

My grandparents forced him by giving all logical, illogical and emotional reasons but he didn't budge. My grandparents wanted a grandson, they threatened him to remarry else he will be disowned...

Without giving a second thought, he left behind everything…. his acres of land, all his relatives, friends, comfortable house, cattle, rather everything that will count for a good lifestyle in a village.

He came to this huge city with absolutely nothing, but me in his arms. Life was tough, he worked hard day and night.. raised me with tender love and utmost care.

Now I understand why suddenly he developed a dislike for things that I would love to eat when there was only one piece left in the platter.... he would say that he hates eating it and I would finish it considering that he does not like it.... but as I grew older I realized the reason and what sacrifice is all about.

He gave me the best possible comforts beyond his capacity.
If love and care defines a mother... then my father fits in there.
If compassion defines a mother, my father fits in well in there too...
If sacrifice defines a mother, my father dominates that category.
So in nut shell.. if a mother is made of love, care sacrifice and compassion...


On Mother's Day, I would like to wish my father for being the best parent on earth... I salute him and say it with pride that the hardworking GARDENER working in this school is my father.

I know I may fail this test after my teacher reads this…. but this would be a very small price one would pay towards an ode to the selfless love of my father.


There was a deafening silence in the room... one could only hear soft sobbing of Ganga Das....

The harsh sun could not wet his clothes with sweat but soft words of his daughter had soaked his chest with tears.... he was standing there with hands folded….

He took the paper from teacher's hands... held it close to his heart and sobbed.

Principal got up.. offered him a chair, glass of water and said something... but, strangely the crispness of her voice was taken over by a surprising warmth and sweetness....

"Ganga Das.. your daughter is given (Blank)/10 marks for this essay.... Her Teacher has felt that this essay is far beyond her capacity to be assessed. We all felt that this is the best essay on a Mother ever to be written on a Mother’s Day….

"You are a True Gardner, who is not only looking after the gardens, but also nurturing the most precious flower of your life in such a beautiful way...."

We are having the Mother's Day gala event tomorrow…"So Ganga Das, will you be our Chief Guest for the event?"

This is to honor all the love and sacrifice a man can do to raise his children... to show that you do not have to be a woman to be the perfect parent...

Monday, April 17, 2017

Everyone has a Story

A father was travelling along with his 24 year old son in a train.

The son was seated near the window. But his behavior seemed to be crazy and disturbing to the co-passengers.

Looking out of the train’s window the boy shouted, “Dad, look at the trees, they are running behind!” and his Dad would smile

The other passengers felt that it was slowly getting beyond limits…

Now again the boy shouted, “Dad, look the clouds are running with us!”

The couple sitting opposite couldn’t resist anymore. They said to the old man, “You should have travelled with him in a cab rather than taking a public transport. Why don’t you take your son to a good doctor?”

The old man smiled and replied, “I did and we are just coming from the hospital, my son was blind from birth, he just got his eyes today. Moreover, I would have loved to take him in a cab, but I couldn’t afford as I have already spent whatever I had on his treatment.”

Every single person on the planet has a story.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

57 Cents

A sobbing little girl stood near a small church from which she had been turned away because it was too crowded. "I can't go to Sunday School?" she sobbed to the pastor as he walked by. Seeing her shabby, unkempt appearance, the pastor guessed the reason and, taking her by the hand, took her inside and found a place for her in the Sunday school class. The child was so touched that she went to bed that night thinking of the children who have no place to worship Jesus.

Some two years later, this child lay dead in one of the poor tenement buildings and the parents called for the kind hearted pastor, who had befriended their daughter, to handle the final arrangements.

As her poor little body was being moved, a worn and crumpled purse was found which seemed to have been rummaged from some trash dump. Inside was found 57 cents and a note scribbled in childish handwriting which read, "This is to help build the little church bigger so more children can go to Sunday school."

For two years she had saved for this offering of love. When the pastor tearfully read that note, he knew instantly what he would do. Carrying this note and the cracked, red pocketbook to the pulpit, he told the story of her unselfish love and devotion. He challenged his deacons to get busy and raise enough money for the larger building.

But the story does not end there! A newspaper learned of the story and published it. It was read by a Realtor who offered them a parcel of land worth many thousands. When told that the church could not pay so much, he offered it for 57 cents. Church members made large donations. Cheques came from far and wide.

Within five years the little girl's gift had increased to $250,000.00--a huge sum for that time (near the turn of the century). Her unselfish love had paid large dividends.

When you are in the city of Philadelphia, look up Temple Baptist Church, with a seating capacity of 3,300 and Temple University, where hundreds of students are trained. Have a look, too, at the Good Samaritan Hospital and at a Sunday School building which houses hundreds of Sunday school children, so that no child in the area will ever need to be left outside during Sunday school time. In one of the rooms of this building may be seen the picture of the sweet face of the little girl whose 57 cents, so sacrificially saved, made such remarkable history. Alongside of it is a portrait of her kind pastor, Dr. Russell H. Conwell, author of the book, Acres of Diamonds.

"Suffer the little children to come unto Me, for theirs is the Kingdom of God."

Monday, April 10, 2017

The Touchstone

When the great library of Alexandria got burned, only one book was saved. But it was not a valuable
book and a poor man who could read a little, bought it for a few coppers. The book wasn’t very interesting but between its pages there was something very interesting indeed. It was a thin strip of vellum on which was written the secret of the “Touchstone”!

The Touchstone is a small pebble that could turn any common metal into Gold. 

The writing explained that it was lying among thousands and thousands of other pebbles that looked exactly like it. But the secret was this; The real Touchstone would feel warm, while ordinary pebbles are cold. 

So the man sold his few belongings, camped on the seashore and began testing the pebbles. He knew that if he picked up ordinary pebbles and threw them down because they were cold, he might pick up the same pebbles hundreds of times. So, when he felt the one he picked up was cold, he threw it into the sea. He spent the whole day doing this but none of them was the touch stone. Yet he went on and on this way. Pick a pebble, throw it into the sea if it was cold. Pick up another, throw it into the sea….this went on and on…

The days stretched into weeks and week into months. But he was not ready to quit…He believed in what he was doing....

Finally, the day arrived….

About noon, he picked up a pebble that was warm….

….and he threw it into the sea before he realized what he had done.

He had formed such a strong habit for throwing the pebbles into the sea that when the one he wanted came along, he still threw it away.

Friday, March 31, 2017

A Fairy's Tale

"And then the princess found herself locked in a tower surrounded by a stinky moat with crocodiles and a huge scary giant guarding the door," I read to my niece with lots of expression….eyes wide open and a deep voice….

A routine bed time story activity that we follow…..

Then, I made a sad face and continued softly… "So, the poor princess waited and waited for her prince to come--"

"But, why was she waiting for the prince, mama?!" asked the little girl, impatiently.

Now I became impatient and asked…”Who do you think will come and save her”…

I added…”If you are going to ask such silly questions, I will be forced to stop the story”

But she went on.."But, mama, why did she need a prince to save her?"

I was at a loss of words and completely blank…”Uhh... hmm...to fight with the giant and….”

She continued….."If it were me, I would have fought with the giant and killed him…then rode on the white horse all the way down the hill…through that thick forest….swam across the sea….and reached the palace….and……

"This princess is stupid….I don’t like the story"….. she discarded the book and walked away.
Something about the girl made me extremely happy.

I guess it is time to rewrite the fairy tales……

Modern Fairy Tales: Lets teach the girl child to be self-sufficient and independent rather than waiting for a prince or a miracle to happen!

Monday, February 13, 2017

Right Decisions

A group of children were playing on two railway tracks, one still in use and the other disused. Only one child played on the disused track while the rest played on the operational track.

The train comes, and you are just beside the track interchange.

Now you could let the train go on its way or change its course to the disused track and save most of the kids. However, this would mean the lone child playing by the disused track would be sacrificed.

Let's take a pause to think what kind of decision we could make.... 

Most people might choose to divert the course of the train, and sacrifice the lone child. I guess you too might have made the same choice.

Initially, I thought exactly the same way because to save most of the children at the expense of only one child was the most rational decision that majority of the people would chose to make, morally and emotionally.

But, have you ever thought that the child choosing to play on the disused track had in fact made the right decision to play at a safe place?

Nevertheless, he had to be sacrificed because of his ignorant friends who chose to play where the danger was and no one would shed tear for him.

However one of my friends who read this story said that she would not try to change the course of the train because she believed that the kids playing on the operational track should have known very well that track was still in use, and that they would have run away if they heard the train's sirens.

If the train was diverted, that lone child would definitely die because he never thought the train could come over to that track!

Moreover, that track was not in use probably because it was not safe. If the train was diverted to the track, we could put the lives of all passengers on board at stake! And in your attempt to save a few kids by sacrificing one child, you might end up sacrificing hundreds of people.

Moral : Life is full of tough decisions… "Just remember that what's right isn't always popular... and what's popular isn't always right."

Saturday, January 28, 2017


There was a Student who was doing his research on a Frog. He somehow managed to train a frog to jump when he said “JUMP”

He now wanted to get much deeper into his research.

As the first step, he cuts off one of the legs of the frog and said “JUMP”
With pain the Frog took the Jump….

He now cuts off the second leg of the frog and said “JUMP”
Though the pain was more severe, the frog still Jumped

He then cuts off the third leg and said “JUMP”
The pain was excruciating and the frog laid there without any movement.
He increased his volume and shouted again “J..U..M..P”
With all its strength that remained, the Frog made it again…

He now cuts off its fourth leg also and shouted “J..U..M..P”
With blood oozing out the Frog lay there without any movement.
He shouted, shrieked and squalled “J....U....M....P”
....yet the frog remained motionless.

Finally he concluded his research with the findings…..
“If one cuts off all the legs of a Frog, then the frog will become deaf”

Our research begins here: Does this reflect the efficiency of this student or the education system that created him.