Disease and Wealth

Pic src:Keep going!
One day disease said to wealth, “How lucky you are! People always vye with each other to get hold of you and I am so unlucky that everyone runs away from me!!!”
To this wealth addresses disease enviously, “You are lucky that people remember God when they have you. It is I who is unlucky because with me around people tend to be oblivious to the existence of God.”
Does that ring an alarm bell inside you? If yes, I am glad because that is exactly what I wanted. Just like any of those beings called humans, I too did the same…but trying to change that (another of the change brought by the New Year!!!). So coming back to the main issue, the point is if we believe in God do it at all times. Be thankful in happiness and be ready to accept the adversities with a heart that is always ready to take on with full zest and vigour. One of the reactions of a reader here will be ‘It is easier said than done!” Okay, but then aren’t examinations part of life! So take it as an exam. Remember, ‘there can be efforts that fail but there should not be a failure of efforts’.
There can be situations when we feel like blaming God for all the wrongs but remember we ourselves made a mess out of our lives. So no use blaming anybody! Admit you fault before it is blown up into a major one or before it is announced to you by others! It is better to be famous for a good reason.
So whether you have disease or wealth, accept it as God’s way of controlling your life. Remember these are the shades of life. Actually, they may be said to be two aspects of a complete life. It is of no use having wealth without any disease (read it as: having all the happiness without any grief to make you cherish your happiness all the more!).
The message is KEEP GOING!

© Amritbir Kaur
(just to suggest that please don't copy!!!)

The Most Important Question!

I present here an anecdote I read long ago in some newspaper. So I can’t quote the exact source here [poor memory! You’ll say…but that was really a long time ago :) ]. But the message I wish to convey is loud and clear in the following lines itself. So here it goes:

During my second month of nursing school, our professor gave us a pop quiz. I was a conscientious student and had breezed through the questions, until I read the last one: "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"
Surely this was some kind of joke. I had seen the cleaning woman several times. She was tall, dark-haired and in her 50s, but how would I know her name? I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank. Before class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our quiz grade.
"Absolutely," said the professor. "In your careers you will meet many people. All are significant. They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello".
I’ve never forgotten that lesson. I also learned her name was Dorothy.

I know all of you must have started recalling the names of such persons at your workplace or school, college or university…that will be a good exercise, so carry on with that! Ever wonder: when we attend a function and notice how beautifully the place is decorated, we congratulate the hosts. Did you realize who the real heroes behind that success are? No it is not the interior decorator or the florist but the workers who did their job impeccably. So give it a thought next you see some such thing!
Indeed, it often happens that someone important, who is behind the success that is there for all to see, is often unseen and unknown – the most uncelebrated one. This life of obscurity is sometimes by choice but more often due to the fact that they never receive credit for their services. They remain the unsung heroes, no songs are sung for them, no tributes paid and no buildings dedicated to their memory…but they stay there, unseen, unknown just as the silent music that is there to add to the beauty but falls on deaf ears (here, refers to the ungrateful human beings!).

Natural Calamities and God

Pic src: God's Wrath

We all are aware of the recent calamity that had the island of Haiti devastated in no time. Since olden times, whenever there is a catastrophe, people have a tendency to say that it is the vengeance or wrath of God. A question that needs to be pondered over is that: how justified are we in blaming God like that?
It is often a characteristic of human behavior that a person gives vent to his anger a bit ruthlessly. Can God do that? If your answer is YES…think twice, because that would mean saying qualities of God and human being are similar. This can never be. If your answer is NO, then we have to find out the logic behind such occurrences.
By blaming God for all the wrongs of our life or injustice being meted out to the world in general, what are we trying to prove? We only demonstrate our own incapacity to deal with the adverse circumstances. Blaming God or fate comes in handy for us actually (that includes me too, because I may be I too did the same but I have changed myself lately ‘The Height of Optimism’ ).
Infact, we are ourselves to be blamed for the wrongs being done. Construction and destruction is the part of the game actually. What man has done to Nature has its reaction. But we must not say that Nature or God retaliates, it is actually like we say ‘do good and have good’. Much in the same vein if we go on damaging natural surroundings and go on with reckless use of natural resources we are bound to face adverse conditions, may be in the form of earthquakes, landslides etc.
The above said is simply what came to my silly little mind, the readers or theologists may or may not agree with my views. Everyone has a right to disagree. Kindly share your views here so that we can take this discussion forward and try to find answers to some questions that have always seemed unanswerable.

© Amritbir Kaur
(just to suggest that please don't copy!!!)

Leo Tolstoy's 'Anna Karenina'

Tolstory was cremated at Polyana, at the age of eighty-one, and it was some months before he left his house because of the conflict between him and his wife. Both belonged to the upper class society but their sensibility was dramatically opposed to each other. Tolstoy loved the peasants whereas his wife hated them. This was the main cause of their conflict that made them and outsider. He was not a novelist but a social reformer, in one sense the guru of Mahatma Gandhi, who taught at his place for some time. He is known for his novels like ‘War and Peace’, ‘Anna Karenina’, ‘Resurrection’ and also for short stories. But what is more important is his Christian humanism. More so, he was influenced by Rousseau but he matured as a Christian moralist.

‘Anna Karenina’ by Leo Tolstoy is one such novel that remains a favourite among the connoisseurs of literature. Inspite of its length (runs into more than 900 pages), the novel is a very interesting reading.
‘Anna Karenina’ concerns romantic indivudualism, constituting the main plot of Vronsky (the fiancĂ© of Kitty) and Anna Karenina (a married woman). They come close to each other. Their love grows and both are bold enough to face the situation, yet they retreat. They could not bear the brunt of social censure. They move from place to place. The manner becomes picaresque (episodic). The two are haunted by the fear of society. In fact, it is the fear of their conscience. Anna is so sentimental that she loses her two infants one by her husband and the other by Vronsky. However, the situation does not stand still. The ‘civilized mentality’ gains an upper hand. In a way, the two become social outcasts. The social aspect of life would not let them enjoy peace of mind. Under this pressure, something strange happens. At first, he begins to hate her and develops affairs here and there and elsewhere. Later, he is infatuated by Kitty. Anna has the desire to divorce her husband. He does not do so, she is drawn between love and marriage but love fails her when Vronsky philanders with others. She is alone and isolated. She throws herself under the wheels of a train and commits suicide.

A question arises why Tolstoy keeps Anna in a state of tension resulting in death. The only explanation that one gets is Tolstoy’s Christian moralism, his conservative attitude inspite of his quality of humanism. The Anna-Vronsky plot reveals the failure of Rousseauistic romanticism. The union of Levin and Kitty indicates the conformity of the two. By the contrast, it may be said that in Adam Bede, Hetty Sorrel is seduced by Arthur Danny Thorne. He leaves here in the lurch. Thanks to the open-mindedness of Adam Bede, she is married to him and thus, rehabilitated. Anna’s tragedy is the tragedy of the over-sensitive. This lacks inevitability. The novel is the product of the nineteenth century when not only the female was being exploited by the male due to deracination but in several cases, the female displayed masculinity and broke through the conventional way of life in search of happiness. Anna does her best to temper with her destiny. She fails to get divorce from her husband on the one hand and on the other Vronsky proves to be a philanderer. In such bewilderment she prefers death. In no sense, it is in conformity to Tolstoy’s Christian humanism. He loves Christianity not in the characteristic sense of the world but on the spiritual plane. Anna’s suicide is not pathetic but tragic. She dies struggling. In a way, she matches Sophocles’s Antigone, who violates the command of Creon, Anna is not ruled by any such commandment. Her death poses a challenge to the categorical imperative (“Thou shall not commit deeds unclean”) that has been snubbing womankind from the inception of patriarchal age.

Happy Republic Day!

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up
into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason
has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action---
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.


HAPPY REPUBLIC DAY with a prayer that the above said turns out to be true very soon!

The Height of Optimism

Yesterday evening, I suddenly heard myself singing, “Give me some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance I wanna grow up once again” (courtesy: a song from ‘3 Idiots’). That set my mind thinking. I travelled back to my childhood days of sheer innocence and pure bliss - the time when the only thing broken was toys and the only thing that hurt were skinned knees. I stayed in the cozy comfort of my home for two and half years, and then went to a nursery school for one year. By the time I was three and a half I was in school. But now I had a chance to grow up again. So school would be a bit different now! Having got an opportunity to live all over again, I polish, mould and prune myself according to my new-found dreams. In my mind I start growing up once again. It was indeed a very charming thing to do. But a big question was: How do I change my life for the better?
A simply answer would have been: By erasing bitter memories, unwanted experiences and also by undoing the unexpected turn of events. So in my mind I jotted down a list of all those moments. Then reliving all those one by one I had a strange feeling. I tried to imagine my life without all those painful episodes. But I couldn’t … strange!!! I was shocked at myself for this! I should have been the happiest person but I wasn’t happy. I couldn’t bring myself to accept a smooth life without any heart-rending ordeal. So no matter how much I complained till date, I had realized that each and every experience had some relevance. I had heard others tell me this, but their words were not been as convincing as has been my own thought process. Safely I can now conclude that I don’t want to change my life. I am happy with myself, with what I have and with what I am. Now I no longer want a ‘Redo’ or ‘Undo’ button in my life!
Hitherto I knew myself as an optimistic person. But now this was the height of optimism!(at least that's how I put it!). I would cherish all the memories with no bitter after-taste. I don’t want to change anything because I don’t want to forget anything. After all, that is the wealth of life…
© Amritbir Kaur

'A Search' - poem

Pic Src: Search

When there was darkness all around,

when the black sky did surround,

when every hope of light was drowned,

where were you all the time?

When nobody was there to lend a shoulder,

when tears too did smoulder,

when no one was to be the candle-holder,

where were you all the time?

When by words was the heart broken,

when nobody else could offer a love token,

when all made me lonely and forsaken,

where were you all the time?

Probably You were within me,

guiding and protecting me:

through the tough times You carried me

that no one else could have done for me.

© Amritbir Kaur

Faith, Prayer and Miracles

Original pic src:Running
Poster created by: Amritbir Kaur

“Life never leaves you empty. It always replaces everything you lose. If it asks you to put something down it is because it wants you to pick up something great.”
Indeed, it is this belief in God that would keep us going in life. This faith provides us the confidence and we move ahead with hope. This thinking is reflected in Browning’s optimism:

“God’s in his Heaven
And all’s well with the world.”

The unshakeable faith helps us to maintain the rhythm in the journey of life. Miracles do happen. If things are taking time to straighten up, then have patience. Because masterpieces take a greater time in being produced! After all, is the last laugh that matters…no matter who wins faith will always be victorious.
Remember ‘God is at work somewhere for you’. Even if we cannot see Him, He makes us feel His presence at times.
Who says prayers are not answered! It might take a while; remember there is light at the end of the tunnel. God answers your prayers in three ways:

God says YES and gives you the something good.
God says NO and gives you something better.
God says WAIT and gives you the best.

So it is just a matter of faith. We as human beings falter easily sometimes. But sooner or later we realize that how wrong we were in doubting the concept of divine justice. Whenever you face testing times remember you are being prepared for a nice surprise. And when you reach a point where you feel you can no longer hold on, stay put; because it is at such vulnerable points that there is a change and our life is never ever the same again… REMEMBER KEEP GOING NO MATTER WHAT…

'3 Idiots' and Indian Education System

Watching ‘3 Idiots’ was a wonderful experience. And that too on the last day of the dying year…a perfect adieu!
Often we relish the flavour or the feeling that is left behind. So I’ll begin with what the film left behind – it was a sense of satisfaction, a feeling that at last justice has been done. Creative and innovative thinking was victorious, even after having signed the declaration of defeat. Even in life, it is only the winner in the true sense of the term who can accept defeat so easily because there is no ego involved.
Overall, the film is a satire on the Indian educations system, where within the first few minutes after the birth of a child is decided that the child would be an engineer as is done in the case of Farhan (R. Madhavan) in the film. The film has some very meaningful messages to convey.
• Don’t aim to be successful. Be a good engineer (can be applied to any profession) and success will automatically follow you.
• Fear is not good for grades.
• Choose the profession and course for which you are passionate.
• Don’t be a machine. Rancho (Aamir Khan) in the film is someone who is passionate about machines but he is the only student in the college who is not a machine.
• Rancho has the courage to give wings to his dreams and imagination, yet he doesn’t forget to help others realize their dreams – making both Farhan and Raju (played by Sharman Joshi) follow their hearts. He also devoted time to make Joy Lobo’s model of plane fly.
• The measure of success that was to be done on the fixed date (September 5) is mistakenly understood to be the wealth, palatial house etc. by the character teasingly called as ‘silencer’ his classmates.
• Only bookish knowledge cannot be the mantra of success. Like we say, ‘home is where heart is’, similarly, we can succeed in that profession into which we put in our heart and soul.
The situation of ‘I QUIT’ comes only when the real talent goes waste, when it is lost somewhere in the crowd of people crying hoarse for better grades.
We have to fool our heart and say ‘All izz Well’. Of course, very rightly mentioned in the film, this does not solve the problem but definitely gives us the hope and courage to face the storms of life.
The moments from the film which I cherish the most are: the concept of astronaut’s pen, the interview given by Raju towards the end of the film, the success of Rancho as a great scientist at the end (glad that creativity got the much deserving success)… all these and many more moments from the film make it a cherishable experience even after I have watched it; and my heart cries out:
“Give me some sunshine, give me some rain, give me another chance, I wanna grow up once again!”
In the end, I would like to say that the film is a must watch by all students, parents and teachers of course.

This review was published on MSN '3 Idiots' is a must watch for everyone
Some of the views of the readers on MSN are as under:

Raj - Visakapatnam on 1/1/2010 5:41:47 PM
I felt the same as ms.A.Kaur did.Point to point.As said its a must watch film.and no doubt is the best film of the year.

KP - chennai on 1/1/2010 8:58:51 PM
beautifully written.makes me want to see the film

Ravi Kumar - Bangalore on 1/1/2010 10:47:39 PM
I completely agree... Its an awesome movie ! MUST WATCH for all !

Ricky - London on 1/3/2010 1:04:45 AM
Good Post.. By the way, that Astronaut's pen sequence is kind of made up to portray Rancho as a cool and clever thinker. Fact is when they Astronaut's began to fly they used pencils, but the often leads broke and became hazardous by floating in the atmosphere where there was no gravity. Leads could float into an eye/nose or cause a short in a electrical device. Also, both the leads and wood could burn rapidly in the pure O2 atmosphere (Apollo 1 fire). To fix those problems they invented that pen.

Farooq Hussain - Qatar on 1/3/2010 4:22:07 PM
GR8 View def u would be like Rancho in ur life. Aal is well.

PRASHANT B.GADKARI - MUMBAI on 1/3/2010 8:11:51 PM