Friday, October 29, 2010

Annam's Deepavali

Annam looked through the glass window. The mannequins were adorned with beautiful Sarees and Salwar Kameez. Beads and sequins spread on the materials like morning glory creeping up a fence to reach for sunlight. A pair of glittering glass bangles decorated with white stones dangling on both hands of a mannequin.

Annam's big brown eyes looked at the mannequins. Yearning. How she longed to own such a beautiful costume for Deepavali. She let a long sigh and looked away.

The streets were busy with people crossing roads, families rushing to find a place to park their cars and customers bargaining. Songs from films blasted and once in a while there were announcements inviting customers to shops offering Deepavali sale. Parents and children, hands full of shopping bags, smiled away happily satisfied with their purchase. A group of young girls beside Annam were showing their costumes and comparing the prices.

Annam gave another sigh and approached the group of girls. Clutching in her hand a long stick with several hooks bearing colourful cotton candy. The girls purchased a few cotton candies. It was Annam's last sale. It was time to go home and join her family to celebrate the eve of Deepavali.

That night, Annam and her siblings gathered for prayers. Annam's mother prepared some offerings for their grandparents and Annam's father. After the prayers they had dinner and later they gathered again to receive their Deepavali costumes. All her sibling were excited, took their costumes and compared with each other.

Annam however was not excited. She was sad that their Deepavali cloths were old stocks given to Annam's mother by her employer. Her mother noticed her sad face. She sat beside Annam.

Annam's mother told her that Deepavali is not about wearing new cloths. It's all about living a simple life and appreciating what god gave. Man have many desires and controlled by their ego and greed. There is a difference of between needs and wants. The light will guide us of what we truly need and can afford. The darkness of the greed and ego shall banish and replaced with the light of wisdom

Annam smiled. She ran outside and joined her siblings to light up the oil lamps.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Achai

It was dark and cold. Achai could hear the heavy fall of rain drops on the ground. He could smell the damp earth. A strong wind blew the wet leaves and Achai shivered. A flash of lightning made the sky bright for a second followed by a loud thunder. It sent shivers down Achai's spine.

Achai was scared of lightning and thunder. On a rainy day Achai's master would call him into the shop to stay warm and safe. He usually snuggles happily under his cozy blanket and watch through the window, waiting for the rain to stop.

Now he stood outside the shop not knowing where to hide. His master was gone for almost a day and have not return. Achai's stomach made some strange noise. He did not eat anything since morning. Achai never felt this strange noise coming from his stomach before.

Achai sat down in front of the shop now, shivering in cold, staring at the roller shutter, waiting for his master to open the shutter and call him into the shop. The rain was getting heavier. Achai curled up to warm his body. He lay there hoping for his  master to return soon.

***

Achai was a guard dog at his master's shop. His master moved away and left Achai in the streets. Now Achai lives on the streets with other stray dogs depending on left over food. Appa feeling pity on him will buy him fried chicken.

Poor Achai is still waiting and hoping that his owner will return one day. Achai does not know that he was left. He only knows that his master loves him and waits for his master to return for him.

Imagine you are Achai.....

Monday, October 25, 2010

6 Man And A Banana Peel

On the 8th day of Navarathiri, Amma and I went to temple for Sarasvathi Poojai prayers. After the prayers the temple committee usually organises a 'talk session' about Hinduism and culture. This time Mr.Vendargon who speaks for Astro's Viluthugal Programme was invited.

He talked about the 6 ways towards a successful life and gave many examples, some were hilarious but the truth about our community. Here I am just posting one part of his speech which I find very interesting. 6 Man And A Banana Peel. I altered it abit because I could not remember the exact words he spoke. But the gist of the story is there.

A man ate a banana and threw its skin on the street. The second man walking on the street, didn't notice the banana peel. He stepped on it carelessly, slipped and fell on the ground. He cried out in pain and left the place.

The third man also carelessly stepped on the banana peel, slipped and fell. He cried out in pain . He did not pick the banana peel but left it there. He wanted the next person who slips and falls feel the pain that he felt.

The fourth man walking on the street noticed the banana peel. He scolded the person who threw it on to the ground. He then left.

The fifth man walking on the street saw the banana peel. He stopped and wondered who threw it on the ground and why they threw it on the ground and not into the dustbin. He complained to a few passerby that some irresponsible man threw a banana peel on the ground and advised that it should be thrown into the dustbin or someone might slip on it and fall. He then left.

The sixth man walking on the street saw the banana peel on the street and picked it up. Without saying anything he threw it into the dustbin. He didn't want anyone to slip and fall. He then left.

Most people are like the first, second, third, fourth and fifth man, and very few are like the sixth man. Considerate.

Being considerate of others will take your children further in life than any college degree - Marian Wright Edelman.


Friday, October 22, 2010

Attitude

On my way to the hospital for ENT check up last week. I was very disappointed with the way two people behaved. The customer, an Indian man with his wife and daughter (looking tired and annoyed) were at the counter asking for directions. The receptionist directed him to bring his daughter to the Emergency Department for diagnosis. The Emergency Department was quite far from the Day Care Clinic.

The man apparently got lost many times, I guess, so he was frustrated. When the receptionist directed him to another location, he was mad and started blaming the receptionist, the government, the country etc. for making his day a miserable one.

Just after the man left, the receptionist who was also frustrated with the way the man spoke to her, expressed her anger to her colleague in an impious manner. "This Indians are all stupid, bodoh.... Keling ni ....".

I was surprised to hear her speak in such a manner. If she said all Indians are stupid that means she is also stupid because she is also an Indian. She just declared publicly that she is stupid.

Both their attitude just gave a wrong impression of an Indian to the other races. If we want others to respect us (Indians), we must first learn to respect our own people.

Our respect for others, the way we communicate with one another and our manners are part of what we were thought for generations. It is one of the lessons thought in our (Indian) culture. But we have long forgotten our culture and values.

As Gandhi said "You don't have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them". We stopped that is why we have such attitude.... 


Note: I hope no one gets mad, offended or anything with this post. Am writing this not to point out at anyone. I know the two people behaved that way because of frustration and anger. I want our community to change for good. I want a better Indian community. A community that sustains the values of our culture not make em' disappear/extinct. To others (non Indians) who read my post, it goes for ya all too. Change for a better country.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Tickling Hot Dry Chillies

Amma and I went to the hypermarket to buy some groceries the other day. I was complaining all the way that Appa's car is too long, difficult to park and 'drinks' too much of oil for a short distance. Amma was just listening. When we reached the hypermarket, luckily the parking lots were free. It's a working day that's why.

This is where we buy our spices and veggies sometimes. We do get it at the market but since we're buying other household items as well so we buy it here one shot. As we were picking the onions, the stocker (the guy who stocks items in a grocery store etc.) was untying a sack of red hot dry chillies. Amma quickly said "Lets go the other side, I'll start coughing if I stand here!".

Just then the stocker poured the dry chilies into the basket and everyone started coughing and sneezing. 'Ahhhchhooos' at every corner of the veggy & fruit section. It lasted for about 10 minutes. Wow! I didn't know that dry chillies were so powerful until it can irritate a human's nose and throat so badly.

Once a senior of mine in campus told me that it's bad to hold your sneeze. "Sneezing is the good that gets the ill out," she said. Well than its a good thing the stocker helped those people to get the 'ill' out of their nose.

But I remember reading an article on the net that said a single sneeze can produce 40,000 aerosolized droplets containing a hefty amount of infectious organisms. And now I'm inhaling all those infectious organisms, arrggghhh ...... it's time to cabut (get out) from here.