Monday, March 31, 2008

When in Debt - Mangala

Mangala earned her livelihood working in many houses as a maid. She had to feed her three children and her good-for-nothing drunkard husband. Her husband felt it his right to live off in her salary, just drinking and betting on horses, even though all that he has ever done was drain her salary in full. The daily wage job that he attended, he felt was not upto his level. So the number of days that he stayed away from the job was more than the number of days he would go to work. More so he needed to be away from his job so that he could be present at the racing and gambling places. End result, the money that he brings home was not sufficient even to meet just his needs alone.
Not having had any education herself, Mangala wanted her children to study and now her children were in class 11, class 10 and class 7. Studying in corporation schools, her children did not disappoint her, they studied dedicatedly and the efforts were proving good with them gaining good grades in school. The income she earned was meagre and so she worked doubly hard to provide for their school facilities also. There were times when she found it real difficult to meet their school demands and so borrowed from the houses where she worked. Being an honest and sincere lady, she repaid the loan the day she received her salary. Of course within a span of few days, she used to return to the lady of the houses she worked for another loan. Amidst these she managed to save a little for her children.
But hardship seemed to follow her severely. Her husband was hospitalized and an appendicitis operation was needed. The very little savings that she had and borrowing from the houses she worked, were just not enough to tide over the hospital bills. And so with a heavy heart she went to the pawnbroker’s to pledge her jewels. At an exorbitant rate of interest, she received money to tide over the hospital expenses. She could repay the loan borrowed from the houses that she worked, on a later date, but the pawnbroker would need his dues at the right time. And to tide over this phase of her life she added the number of houses she worked. But things went bleak when the time for repayment of the principal was past over due and the pawnbroker would just not hear anything from her. At her doorstep would he come each day demanding his money and hurling the worst abuse ever possible when she pleaded for time. And ultimately the pawnbroker sent a notice saying her jewels would be put for auction. Poor Mangala, could do nothing when the Pawnbroker said no balance remained as all the money received from the auction was just enough to pay of his loan.
And so it is true when it is said: "The only man who sticks closer to you in adversity than a friend is a creditor." - Unknown

When in debt

What a crisis this debt creates. Sometimes to meet his daily expenses, sometimes to satisfy the beyond reach desires of his, man tends to take loan. Small meagre amounts, he approaches his friends or takes loan from office. Loan taken from friends, are returned at free will. No interest charged. Loan from office also gets deducted from their salary. And a situation arises when their demand for finance goes beyond what can be contributed by friends or taken from office. Well, they ultimately go to the moneylenders. They borrow beyond their repaying capacity and this is where they get jammed. On one side is the moneylender insulting and disgracing them, making them squirm in shame. On the other side is the need to live in a society where one has to fake their status.
Similar is the situation when one pledges jewels to the pawnbrokers. The daily wage earners find it difficult to just meet even their daily basic needs. To meet their expenses, they approach the pawnbrokers with their jewels. The pawnbrokers charge such exorbitant rates of interest that these borrowers end up paying only interest, and the amount he pays by way of interest exceeds multiple fold the principal. To redeem his jewels and other items that he has pawned, he approaches another pawnbroker, who sure enough takes advantage of the situation and his rate of interest is higher than the one previously paid. But to manage the situation temporarily, the loan is taken. And the same follows, monthly payment is done only for the interest, principal amount remains the same and time out…. and so on it becomes a cycle.
A time arises when repaying only the interest becomes beyond his capacity. The moneylender soon comes tapping on his door asking for the interest or the principle, knowing fully well, he will get neither. It does not matter since the moneylender is fully aware he has got much more than what he gave and he still possess the jewels. So finally the jewels/other articles are given off in an auction and the moneylender leaves with his pockets full and the borrower with a hole. The increasing rate of inflation sure is most advantageous to the moneylenders/pawnbrokers/finance companies and the like.
There are times when the borrower is humiliated to such an extent for non-repayment of the loan that he resorts to the ultimatum – suicide.
And so it is true when it is said:
"The only man who sticks closer to you in adversity than a friend is a creditor." - Unknown

My sweet little daughter

After nine months of waiting
Placed in my arms beautifully sleeping
Is this beautiful little flower
Filling our hearts with pleasure

Mischief gleaming in her eyes
She brought cheer into our lives
Lot of pranks up her sleeve
Excuses for those would she weave

Her first little steps did she keep
She turned around and saw me leap
With fear, her I tried to hold
Don’t worry her laughter told

As a child she would shy
To meet anyone she asks why
Now grown up, she is outgoing
As I marvel at god’s doing.

Friendship is sacred is her motto
So friends flock to her in toto
To her friends she is loyal
And so she is treated very royal

She takes her life easy going
Good is she in her dancing
To see her dance was the crowd
As parents we felt very proud.

As a person she is more than very adamant,
Come to it, she would never harm even an ant
Questioning her actions annoy her a lot
She says stain in dad’s image I will not

Very sensitive in many a way
Yet not a tear she shows away
As a friend this act I admire
But worry I do in mother’s attire

Differ do we in many a view
Problems propping always anew
Deep inside however we know
As friends, we love each other so.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Why is it so difficult to decide?

Many a times have I pondered over this. Human beings tend to look for an answer that satisfies them. They are not ready to accept answers randomly. In a way right, but there are times when only confusion sets in their mind. Strange are our ways of decision making.

My son developed rashes in his body and I took him to the doctor who diagnosed the same as chicken pox. So I asked him the instructions that I should follow at home. I put forth this question to the doctor, "Is it ok for my son to have a bath?" The doctor immediately said no, that having a bath is one of the reason for the chicken pox to spread all over the body. Well, he being a doctor, I gave in at that moment and returned home. But the curiosity got the better of me and I typed out the word Chicken Pox in the google. Well as I expected, in the instructions given there, it said, it was ok for the infected child to have a bath. Just that no soap to be used. And the child must be patted dry and not rubbed all over. One question, two answers. Left me in confusion as to whether I should follow the doctor’s advice or the information I got in the net. But finally decided to adhere to what the doctor said and am waiting for the 7th day to give a proper bath to my son. The reason to choose this option actually was different. The fear of causing harm or aggravating the chicken pox in him made me feel I should accept the doctor’s advice. And that is exactly what I did. It sort of explained the reason for me not to go ahead and give my son a bath, and yet not let my fear out in the open.

Another instance is regarding astrologers. Agreed, each has his/her own way of predicting things. But, just one horoscope and so many predictions!!!
When my sister attained marriageable age, my mother showed her horoscope to few astrologers. Each astrologer had his predictions. One said my sister had Chevvai Dosham, so some parikarams to be done. My mother went about doing what he said, in the hopes that my sister would get married. But no, nothing happened. Another astrologer said it is just a matter of time, my sister would get married and her horoscope is such she would bring wealth and happiness in her in laws home. Another astrologer said according to my sister’s horoscope, she would be a second wife only. Another said, my sister would have a late marriage. One astrologer said she would get married, but her married life would be short. She would lose her husband soon. And yet another saw her horoscope and just pushed it aside. When asked, he said, according to the horoscope, the girl will never get married. But still my mother continued her mission of trying to find a suitable prospective groom for my sister. By then my sister had decided she would stay single and devote her time to serve the needy and that is exactly what she is doing now. So here we have just one horoscope and so many predictions, with regard to the same topic.

These are just two very simple incidents that I have mentioned. But this is exactly how many of us delegate the decisions that we have to make. Strange is the way human beings think. We search for an answer, an answer that would be most suitable for us. We don’t have an answer framed in the mind and heart. But there are some titbits here and there. With these titbits matching a solution from an external source, we arrive at a conclusion. Thereby, we keep ourselves in the clear. If the solution we get is acceptable, then we accept it as our brainwave, otherwise we search for a source to shift the blame.
Let us learn to face life our own way rather than depend on others for the way our life takes its shape

"The most difficult thing is the decision to act, the rest is merely tenacity. The fears are paper tigers. You can do anything you decide to do. You can act to change and control your life; and the procedure, the process is its own reward." - Robyn Davidson

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Our anger - why shower it on others?

When we are angry, we happen to use the worst way to exhibit our anger and that is in the form of words. Unintentionally, we use words that are very abusive, rash, harsh in every way. Words, that instill pain beyond endurance. Words that create a scar that can never be erased. A pain, that can never be healed. Sure with passing time, it might fade away slightly, but the scar remains to remind us of the pain. The wound from the injury sees its way to harm the receiver mentally. A blockade is created in the mind of the receiver. The pain so inflicted creates its own path to create a mental gap between the relationship shared by the receiver and the giver.
Words once thrown can never be gathered again. It can be related to the ‘send’ options that we have in emails. Once we type and click send, the message immediately gets sent. No matter what we try, we just can not revert back the message. If it has a positive connotation, then it is acceptable, but what, if the message has a negative content in it… What if we have poured out our anger into the mail and before giving it a second thought clicked the send button. Well it is gone to the receiver.
It not only makes an indelible impact on the receiver, even the person who spurts out such angry retorts is affected. Just imagine taking a handful of red-hot coal pieces and throwing it at someone. Before it reaches the receiver, enough damage is done to the person who is throwing it – their hands are burnt due to the heat of the coal. Such is also the case of abusive, angry words. Yes it does hurt the receiver. But the person who says so is also deeply affected. Is it possible for him to be at peace after having uttered such abusive words? Never- deep inside he would be feeling so guilty. He sure would feel ashamed at himself. But all this happens after his anger is vented out.
A good profound thinking should be given before we utter words especially when we are in our worst moods. For once the words are out of our mouth, then nothing can ever put it back inside. So better it would be for us to remain silent and let the anger pass.
There are a few who say that not letting out the anger might induce health problems in us. But I feel allowing anger to overtake us and making us handicapped at certain moments in life itself is an act, which would lead to health problems. And surely venting out anger in the form of words that hurt others is surely not the right way. What exactly would be our reaction if we were at the receiving end? We would be humiliated, insulted, deeply hurt. But above all, will we ever be able to look up at the person with the same respect? If we are prone to such feelings, why don’t we realize that such would be the feelings of others too and give a little thought before we vent out our anger?
Here is wishing all a wonderful happy cheerful day
That which is devoid of anger, in any way.

Saturday, March 1, 2008


I am basically an introvert type of person. When in school, I would feel inferior amidst my classmates and schoolmates. Not sure why, I assume it is so probably because of not being real good academically, though I sure was above average. Well, I just would feel tongue-tied if I happen to be amidst anyone to whom I am not close with. End result, I had just 3 or 4 good friends and even to them, it would take eons for me to feel free. And so it continued till my 12th. College saw me with newer friends. Friends that I happen to make during the end of my first year. After college, it was office, and here too, I was very much comfortable with only a few of them.
So in short I was not someone, who would feel free to express myself. Deep in heart I had a lot of appreciation for my friends colleagues and others around me, but I just could not express myself. Felt, I would be laughed at by others or that they would mock at my words and so kept silent.
A course that I attended – Holistic Living – brought about some changes in my attitude. And with the help of my husband and my neighbor, I slowly came out in the open. Yes even now I do hesitate but the extent has reduced a lot. Slowly I started appreciating people online. It used to be about the inspiring messages, sometimes about their characters, sometimes about their family etc. Well a genuine appreciation and I received a warm response from them. I found that these friends were encouraged a lot in doing things and that too they seemed to better in their activities. And what really left me baffled is that they had this immense trust in me and paid heed to what I said to them.
This set me thinking what is stopping me from giving genuine appreciation directly.
Well I decided to give it a chance. We have sports committee members, association committee members and cultural committee members. I was one of the cultural committee members (what made them make me one is still a question that surprises me) Well we have the new-year eve programs and for the past two years I was actively involved in the same. This year however, I pulled myself back to let others play an active role. But what I saw surprised me - not even one member was willing to take the entire responsibility. Each considered only his/her contribution as their sole responsibility. It was at such time that I noticed the dedication, efforts, unity, coordination and cooperation of the Sports committee team. And that changed my thought and I put myself into the role in full. Well we did have a good time and it was enjoyed by all. I just noticed that the dedication with which the sports committee members were working just seem to go unnoticed by others who held themselves high more in complaining about what was not done than what these people were doing. I wanted to appreciate, but as usual, had the stage fear and fear of facing a full audience kept me from going ahead. I knew I was not right in doing so. Gearing up all courage I had, I requested one of the organizers to give me the mike for a few minutes. Mike in hand and feeling the chillness in my hand, I first apologized for my fear. And before I could shrink back, I had the words come out deep from my heart. Sheer silence followed and then I started with my few words of appreciation (yes the stage fear made me forget some words that I intended to mention) But I did appreciate their efforts, their dedication, time, unity coordination. And then to my surprise, the members received a loud applause. I felt glad that I brought out the words of appreciation, because I saw the expression in the eyes of the organizers. I am glad I did so because of the response I received from one of the members. He was choked with emotion when he came and thanked me for the appreciation.
A few words of appreciation, though costs nothing, has so much value attached with it, in the eyes and hearts of the receiver.
I am glad that I did it this time because I know not if I would be able to do so next time. It is best to do things in the present itself, for who is sure of tomorrow…. No one has ever seen tomorrow, for Tomorrow becomes Today and then Yesterday and before you realise, the time has slipped away.