SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Friday, February 26, 2010

Quest for Self

The more I read, I find I am delving deeper into myself.
Unless we are capable of valuing and applying concepts to our own lives, it is not worth trying to impart it to our future generations. The other way to see it is as we share such valuable knowledge, we also apply it to improve our lives. It works like an equation...or come to think of it in Chemistry we have a symbol for  a reversible reaction, and thats how I see this.
As we Share we also Gain...  

This time it is a challenge to prepare the content for a Life skills programme for students between 12 to 16 years. I did not start thinking of it this way.
It all began with a need for counselling as there is a high incidence of children either running away from home unable to cope with the exam stress or just plain running away.
I want to do this with stories, yet do not want it to turn out like a moral science class. I have nothing against such sessions, only that to treat such valuable sharing by using a text book format  may just kill the child's natural desire for self improvement and understanding.

As I searched for ideas, I came across EI, and I had the bingo moment. This is precisely what is lacking in me, as much as in any child to whom I may be sharing this with.
Emotional Intelligence is in lay terms an ability to identify and work with emotions. To understand oneself and others, manage stress, adapt to change and be socially responsible....
In all accounts I found I was lacking and the realisation dawned in me that  most of my inabilities stem from poor Emotional Intelligence...
I am aware of this concept and have heard quite a bit about it, but in spite of being in the field of psychology why did I not use/apply this knowledge?
I can only delve deeper and say this. We fall into certain patterns of behavior which we hold onto and refuse to let go, and only when push comes to a shove do we actually take that first step towards taking greater ownership of our own life.

So here I am trying to make an interactive programme with Emotional Intelligence as the crucial and essential skill for life. I know what I want but am still struggling to put it down in a concrete workable format.
As I read up on this topic, I realise I could have done many things in the past in innumerably different ways.

Its difficult to digest this thought yet I know this is a beginning for me as well. I always find that a quest for one thing leads me to something else quite unexpectedly....

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Time for everything

There are times when Silence is welcome,
A long day melts into solitude as I sit by myself
Thoughts and words my companion.

There are times when Companionship is welcome,
As I linger hoping to find
A voice or a thought to reflect with

There are times when Memories are welcome
Bringing in sweetness to the present
From a past filled with them

There are times when Dreams are welcome
Yearning for its fulfillment
With its passions and interests.

There is a time for every thing

Sunday, February 21, 2010

We the people

 BrahmoUtsavam in Kanpur!! Surprised and taken aback!
The Telugu association in our unit is very strong and have helped establish a Balaji Mandir here. So they conduct this utsavam every year and this year saw them in full grandeur. I assure you the idol and the decorations are as beautiful and elegant as the original.

The event and the celebrations, made me wonder at the beautiful amalgamation that is human kind. A Telugu speaking Vadiyar, conducting a very South Indian festival, in a land where Hindi is spoken, and worship is also conducted differently. So that implies he has to cater to this eclectic mixture. I am sure he too has learnt through trial and error over the years and found various ways and means to make it appealing to the North Indians.
I could see it in the way he encouraged the crowd in his broken Hindi, at times translating the rituals and at times explaining the religious significance of the function itself (I attended the Kalyana Utsavam).

The huge mega sized Laddoo that had been made for the function and the golden Kassu malai that had been donated by a devotee....

This vadiyar himself lives in a dilapidated one room kitchen next to the temple, and the entire feel is that of an Agrahara in Mylopore, yet superimpose this image with Hindi speaking bretheren and a temple complex that houses Puri Jaganath and Durga will get my drift.

We try to recreate an identity similar to; but also an amalgamation.
We adapt and adopt.
We learn and evaluate.
We integrate: that is humanity.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

On goofing up..

I read this post on Maami's Weblog...and did a double take. Well, when you think that you are the only one who plays such dangerous games with the Gas and Fire then you dont want to share it with all, and confine it to the four walls and two ears of the husband.
But hey, here was someone who was openly admitting the goof they committed and the painful burns they sustained....well I did the same..except that, the previous day I left the milk to boil on the burner... ( Oh how I have come to think that the microwave is a safer option...yet goofs in that can happen too..but touch wood, not yet)...
And boil... and boil...while I locked and left the house  for the sundry jobs that I was engaged in for the Ladies club hoohaa.
Well in the first place I blame the event for my distracted state of when I reached home, a good 3 hours later...I found charred remains of the vessel. The countour visible but its contents in ashes.

I counted all the "good " I had done...I had left it on the side with the smaller flame, and in low heat. Yipee...saved myself from burning the house down.

Yet the very next day, I left the ghee container on the stove, high side on and was moral policing two tiresome and tired siblings.Panic striken I ran back into the kitchen to find the container burning, so I wisely threw some water on it...after switching the burner off, to find it was the most unwise thing to do. The flames leaped merrily and tauntingly at me.I carried it outside, but the flames burned with "gheeful" intensity.
Finally I toppled the contents into the mud patch at the back. Thanking my stars for saving me yet again.

But I am not alone I find....this aberration occurs in many from to time.
Thanks to blogging, and fellow bloggers, I dont have to feel lonely even in goofing up!!

Sunday, February 14, 2010


Sometimes my lack of initiative, hampers and bogs me down.
Having just finished with my first ever ladies meeting. I realise that I am such a "follow the leader"...!!
Give me the job and I will do it well. Yet taking Creative Initiative comes rarely. I saw the way ladies come forward to decorate, participate and organize these things and it amazes me.
What is in it for them? 
The sheer challenge of doing something creative or the fact that they would be recognized for their efforts. There is nothing else.
There is absolutely no necessity for them to do any thing!

I have been cribbing about this job. It doesn't interest me, the way that it does them.
Decorating and aesthetic arrangements, are just not in my line of interests. I like to keep things clean, hygiene is important ( much to my husbands dislike...he thinks I go over board). Yet I know where it comes form. While in NCC I have had some extremely difficult camps, where hygiene and basics where so badly compromised I think I have now become extremely choosy about these things.
With 2 kids and a husband who really doesnt bother much about aesthetics, it is not easy being the Lone dog, barking at all and sundry. Sometimes you need to give in and give up. So my house is healthily untidy!

I have the essentials in place, but when it comes to buying those added pleasures to make the house look a l'il nice. Then, both of us are sorely lacking. If I am bad, my husband just has no concept of aesthetics....I know many are like him. He believes if it is not for practical use, then it serves no purpose.Yet I think over the years, having lived with me, he has learnt to keep quiet even if I do splurge once in a while!

You may wonder what this has to do with my current post. It does. 
So now I find I am not much into appearances and beautification, as others in our circle would view it.
It did not matter till now, as we generally keep away from the social circle. Yet, now I am in a situation, where events need to be organised and here aesthetics plays an important role.
Learning the ropes, you could say.
But one advantage, as I said before, is that like any other job, Outsourcing is a great option. So what, if I cannot do it. I can ask people who take pleasure and enjoy doing this to help me out. As long as they don't refuse, I am fine!      
So heres' to all those who pitched in and helped me scrape through this first event.


Ok is there any need to devalue your blog? I know I am going through this lean period and am not able to writer as profusely as I would, and probably am not writing on myriad and assorted topics of interest.
yet why notch me down...?!
You open the blog and scroll down for the familiar and comforting page elements that  you have added with painstaking care. Then you find the culprit sitting there, telling you yu have been lowered in status, because...??

Off with the blighted spot....

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Let Me Awake

Sometimes we come to a point in life..I call it the Uuuuugh times.
When we question why we are unable to focus? Why we are so distracted?

I assume it is all the negativity that is associated with the job that we are given and how we percieve it. I accept. Any job requires a certain amount of positive approach. The problems inherent are to be solved and not looked as a liability.
Though at a conscious level this is something I tell myself. I know unconsciously I am bogged by the negativity.

Why am I cribbing so much?

I have a bum job at hand. I am the Ladies club Secretary. If any of you have done this, then you would know it is not an easy task. Coordinating some programme for 100 ladies, is a big responsibility and if it is a job that has been thrust on you by virtue of the fact that husband  is senior and no one else is available (thats what they say!), then you feel absolutely short changed.
I have another distress. I am non-hierarchical, by that I mean I dislike having to be subservient for hierarchy, or simply said: lap up to the seniors. The only way I know how to handle this (till now) is to avoid interacting with the senior ladies. It suited me fine, till now.
In this, I have to not only take opinions and ideas from a minimum of 5 ladies, I am also to call and recall. Confirm decisions, wait and ask again, know when it is suitable to call. Not call too many times. UUUUUgh..
Now you know.

Buying a simple gift,becomes a task in itself. No one should be left out, senior ladies must feel they have been suitably  respected. Even if there is not one ounce of respect that they do command.
Any hierarchical system of subservience is not healthy.

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 

Where transparency and mutual respect is the main hold
Where hierarchies exist only for smoother flow of communication
Where joy and sharing is integral
Where name calling and back biting doesn't exist
Where one is employed in useful and productive work
Where subservience is abolished
Where sincerity is not abused
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Thank You Tagore Ji...
But We are still to Awake.....

Thursday, February 4, 2010


I have not written in some times. You may wonder why....I tried but couldn't say what I wanted to and so after the first two lines I would depart, unhappy and unable.
It is not that I have nothing to say, but there is much and not enough time to put it down, unable to type as fast as the thoughts seem to assemble. Frustrated I go back, to give it time to come back to me in real time so that I can put it down coherently.
Does this happen to you? 

I am working for the past 2 weeks in a regular school, albeit as a substitute teacher. But it is a new experience. I have never taught in a regular school, having worked with special children at the beginning of my shaky career path. Yes, I do teach my own children but that is more of a one to one discussion and an ongoing process in our daily routine.
I wanted something to do. So I did it.

After all I love to interact with children and this was a great opportunity to really connect with children in Kanpur.
Yes I enjoyed it. Greatly......