March 22, 2018

Anastasia : She Who Will Rise Again

Anastasia was a little girl who lived in a forest. The big, black baboon was old and wise, and he was Anastasia's closest friend. Every time Anastasia had a problem, she would go to the big, black baboon, and he would just solve it in a jiffy.

But one day the big, black baboon went his way, and never came back.

Anastasia looked and looked, but found him not. Sad and dejected, she walked along the forest path wondering whom she would go to the next time she was in trouble. As she turned an unfamiliar bend, stumbling over the roots of an old banyan tree, Anastasia fell down. Sulking and grumbling, she tried to get up, but slipped over the sloppy ground instead, and rolled down into a bush of thorns. Bruised and tattered all over, Anastasia started crying and called out to the big, black baboon for help.

But the big, black baboon showed up not.

March 4, 2018

Sparring Sparrows and Misty Mornings

Sparring sparrows in the morning dew,
Waking up the day ever so new.
Tiny tots, they rise with the sun,
Gabbling away, having endless fun.

Chirpy carols in the morning bloom,
Lift the veil off the dark night’s gloom.
Beckoning the day with a joyous song,
They warble at dusk as children play along.

The morning mist aloft with their clatter,
The sun sinks in their evening chatter.
Muses the garden rose what they prattle,
What is it through evenings they rattle?

#Cheers to the little things in life!!

February 27, 2018

What On Earth?

I recently happen to read a newspaper article about some of NASA’s space explorations. As I was reading, it occurred to me that hundreds of thousands of dollars are spent by NASA and other such elaborately funded research organizations in extensive researches aimed at demystifying the realm beyond our earthly boundaries.

Information of such mystical quality is highly appreciated by science enthusiasts, and is often received with unquenchable voracity and insatiable curiosity. But as I was reading on, a queer thought came to my mind, and I couldn’t help wondering what's the point of all this after all?

I mean what difference does it make to our earthly existence if a certain something from the outer space streaks across the galaxy and crashes into a certain something in its neighbourhood? Or how does the number of moons around Saturn affect our subsistence on our planet? Or how does the planet or not-a-planet status of Pluto change our lives here on earth?

February 12, 2018

The Two Voices

From the depths of my soul, two voices rise :-

One, in every struggle, toughens my resolve,
Full of life, it urges me to evolve.
The other leads me to a world of unrest,
Full of doubts, it keeps me from my quest.

I listen to the former that does me favour,
Whilst the other tells me in vain I labour.
Pushed backwards, I plough on nonetheless,
Leave no stones unturned, in my efforts relentless.

Though there are times I feel I am slow,
I choose to listen to the voice that helps me grow.
Ever so gently, it reaches out to my soul,
Tells me I have the strength to face it all.

Not one to give in to the winds that sway,
I strive to keep focused and lose not my way.
Within me lies the power to turn my life around,
From the depths of my soul, I have my voice found.

#Dedicated to the spirit of life

September 4, 2017

The Super Power That Can Change The World

“Give me blood, and I shall give you freedom”, said Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose while campaigning our country's freedom movement.

Somewhere, a few decades down the line, reading it to her class, a teacher pondered, “Give me young minds, and I shall turn the nation around.”

Powerful words by a powerful person.

It might sound like a tall claim to make, way too far-fetched even, but anyone who has been a teacher, anyone who has ever been influenced by a teacher knows and understands it to be true. It is huge and impactful, and, in no way, an overstatement.

PC: WeAreTeachers on Facebook
This idea became clearer to me when I myself got a chance to assume the most respectable, the most honourable profession in the world. The love, respect and admiration that I have seen in the eyes of my children (beautiful, lovely children that I doted on, and still do) strongly reinforced in me the idea that I had the power to influence and effect change. 

There is a lot a teacher can do to change the world around us. How do you help control climate change?  Teach your class to turn off the fans when they leave the class. How do help keep the environment clean? Teach your class find a dustbin, and use it. How do you stop wars from happening? Teach your class the value, importance and necessity of peace. How do you save humanity from dying? Teach your class to be human.

And lead by example every time. Children know it when you preach but don’t practise.

You might be speaking to a batch of 50 students at a time. Imagine doing that over several decades. How many young minds will you be able to influence? I did the Math here – 50 students per year for 40 years of teacherhood makes it a total of 2000 children in the average professional life of a teacher. And that’s what a single teacher can do. What if all the teachers of a nation decide to put this superpower to good use? Can such a force be stopped or challenged? Can they not inspire a whole generation of young minds to work towards a brighter, better tomorrow? Can they not change the course of an entire nation?

Might be something to think about.

Words are powerful tools and powerful weapons of change. Sadly, in this loud and noisy world, where there is too much talking and too little meaning, we fail to recognize the power of great words and impactful statements. This Teacher’s Day let us vow to do complete justice to the most influential 7 letter word in the history of mankind and stand true to it.

Happy Teacher's Day to all the wonderful teachers out there.

#Dedicated to all my teachers who have touched my life, and all my students whose lives I have had the good fortune to touch. God bless you all. Cheers to life, and to the little things in life!!

PS: For Brits and Indians, practice is a noun and practise is a verb; Americans don't have that distinction, neither do they have practise in their dictionary, which is why the word "practise" is either autocorrected or underlined in red in the very American MS Word Document. Also, the word “teacherhood” has been underlined in red here at the backend, but I am keeping it anyway.

August 15, 2017

The Enigma Of Life

The sun hung low in the sky,
With the river tides running high,
Crimson filled the horizon,
Scarlet waters danced in unison.

She sat on a lonely rock,
Her heart full of qualms amok.
Her concerns were uncanny,
But hardly had answers to any.

In vain was her labour,
Futile her endeavour
Inscrutable are life’s ways to mankind,
Mysterious its moves to the average mind.

The roaring river gushed by,
The wind whispered its lullaby,
She let it seep through her soul,
As God’s grace embraced her whole.

And a voice from within her rose –

Do not raise an alarm,
Do not lose your calm.
All things will have meaning,
Let life do its fine-tuning.

Remember, you're God’s beloved child,
And that ain't something mild.
He will guide you along,
Take you where you belong.

Everything will fall in place,
You will not lose life’s chase.
Every purpose will fulfill,
At the decided hour it will.

You can’t have before it's due,
Nor will you wait when the time is true.
It will come at the right moment,
This time is not your opponent.

You do what needs to be done,
And be at heart a peaceful one.
Every puzzle, every riddle shall be solved,
For you have in your life, your Saviour involved.

#LiveLifeBeautifully #CheersToLife

August 12, 2017

Paper Boats: The New Age Marketing Strategy

Remember the first time you came across the brand Paper Boats? I was first introduced to the brand by an endearing and engaging video I received on WhatsApp featuring a bunch of young adults who refused to let the child in them die. A few more of such videos followed, and then a few months down the line, we were neatly introduced to the very economically priced, interestingly designed tetra packs of flavoured soft drinks.

I am no marketing professional, but being a fairly intelligent, generally observant kind of a person, I understand this to be an excellent marketing strategy. Their marketing is primarily through the social media and they evoke one of the most beautiful emotions in the world – nostalgia, and you can never go wrong with it. The simple joys of our precious childhood are some of the best things we love to reminisce about – our school, our school friends, the games we played, and, as the company has most beautifully named and captioned its brand, making paper boats and watching them drift away in the rains. Those were the first of videos from Paper Boats that I remember having seen and thoroughly enjoyed.

The company continues its marketing on the same lines via Facebook showing posters of siblings doing stuff together, of families celebrating Eid, of young children playing Sathodiyu (that’s what we called it), of train journeys and leaking ceilings and every other thing that made our childhood eventful and worthwhile. Each carry short, honest captions that you can easily relate to most of the time. 

They are so endearing, and you enjoy them so much that you tend to forget what they actually are – ads. On Facebook, it starts a string of conversations, and people just love to share their stories in the comments below, tagging more people along the way, and making the brand the talk of the town before you know it. 

Isn't it just a brilliant idea? The company is getting people to spread the word, and they seem more than willing to participate! The company, according to Wikipedia, had a brand value of $100 million in July 2015 and a production capacity of 10 million pouches per day.

So much for keeping simple things simple!

Life is a beautiful collection of memories, and anything that allows us to relish those beautiful moments is worth cherishing. Hats off to the efforts of this company that helps us to appreciate the beauty of little things in life, while also creating a brand value for itself.

Cheers to life and to the fond memories of fond childhood. Cheers to the little things in life!