northern lights

northern lights

Tuesday, 31 December 2013

Eleven things which every woman must write before the new year.

Eleven things which every woman must write before the year ends, I read Shilpa Garg's post on this subject and felt motivated to write eleven things which I would love to make public. On the last day of the year, I  have added  a  picture of an ancient Roman God , Janus, who can look back and  front with equal ease. We can learn from our past, the mistakes that we have committed and they can be instrumental in reminding us that we do not  repeat them in the coming year.Hence by writing eleven things, I may dwell upon my achievements and faults in the past years gone by. So here I go with the eleven things
1 What younger you would like about your present you.
My younger  one can tell my present  'me' that I am fortunate to be able to achieve in life what I wished for ! A loving family,  respected by friends and relatives.
2.The watched/ read it list
I watched many movies during the past few days.The ones I loved are 'Sath Saath' , 'Kisi se na kehna', and 'Chit Chor' all of them are  comedies. The books that I read  are' Pride and Prejudice','Life is what you make it' and 'The Mahabharata Secret'.
3.The Mistake You Never Want To Make.
I have never harmed any one consciously. I am now 78 years old. The rest of my life I want to live peacefully,without hurting any one. May God give me strength not to make any mistake.
4.Your Ideal Outfit.
I have always worn Salwar suits and Saris. With advancing age,  I am mostly confined at home, I wear skirt and blouse. I find it very comfortable.
5. A  Deep... Dark......Shh.... Secret
I think there is no thing which is a secret. Every thing in my life is an open book.
6.The  Most Unexpected Compliment You Ever Got
It was the last day of my retirement.  My Department was giving me a farewell. All the officers were present. The Secretary(Education) had joined only a month ago. I had not even met him. I was surprised to see him. There was a big gathering. When the Secretary(Edu) was asked to speak, I was wondering what he would say,as I had not met him even once. The words that he spoke  brought tears in my eyes,I can never forget, He said," I have never met this officer, Usha Menon.I went through her personal file and was surprised to see that in her 35 years of service she has always been rated as 'Outstanding'. She has worked under several senior officers and  always rated outstanding.  I came  here only to see her and to compliment her." His words were the best compliment I ever got from any publicly.
7. The One Quote
 The quote which I liked and always practised is Mahatma Gandhi's words, 'I praise loudly; I blame softly".
8.. The Best Surprise You've Ever Got.
About two weeks back on a normal Sunday morning, without any notice or a call, our grand daughter landed home. She came from USA, where she is studying, without any intimation. It was a very pleasant  surprise.
9.My real Happiness
My  real happiness lies in the well being of my family.My dear husband has not been keeping fit for some time. I am happy to see him smiling and enjoying as in olden days. I pray for his well being.
10 My favourite failure'
No body likes failures in life. I thought  and thought but could not pin point any failure which was my favourite.
11.An Amendment To My Bucket List
 I have every thing in my bucket It is already full of items,whether books, clothes, household things. I have every thing in plenty. I only pray that my family always remains healthy and happy.
 I have written this post without any one tagging me to write this. I am happy that by writing these eleven things I got an opportunity to look at life afresh. 
Wish All my friends and well wishers a Happy New Year.

pic courtesy google

Reproducing  as Archives for B A R. on 8th June 2015

Monday, 30 December 2013

Haiku Heights #315 - Expectation

                                                     woman praying

                                                         Silent prayer
                                                 of  hope, trust and belief
                                                   assumes implicit  faith.

                                                       Day and  night,
                                                she looks forward  for a call
                                                    expect the unexpected.

                                                   Great expectations,
                                            hidden  in  folds of  mind,
                                                    will they be true !!

pic  google

Prompted by Haiku Heights #315 - Expectation


Saturday, 28 December 2013

Charity begins at home

 Today I  am completing  three hundred posts. In this journey of two years of blogging I have learnt many things. I have made many  friends,some  whom I met in  my early days of blogging,and continue to be my well wishers, some  others left , and some who join this wagon  occasionally and  leave. This has been a journey in which I  have experienced many trials and tribulations.  By and large I have   enjoyed  writing  on different subjects. There is a healthy reaction  between the  bloggers.

   Now follows today;s post
   In our daily life we come across many people. There are some with whom you develop friendship, and maintain cordial relations. There are some who come and go and leave a stamp on our mind.
An old adage ‘A man is a social animal’is very true..We exist in a society.We all need the society as much as the society needs us.It is a  case of give and take,  mutual trust and understanding.Some people adopt the ‘I don’t care’ attitude,but at some stage of their life they come to terms with reality.The question arises,  after all what comprises human relations. Human relations, as I understand, is the  interaction  between  individuals .This interaction can be  at the level of:
  family  members,neighbours, .work place  associates  and society  at  large,  which includes relatives and friends.
 No  one can survive without communication. For  the  water  that we drink,  the delectable food on our dining table , the house  that we live in and  hundreds of luxuries that we enjoy,  are the result of  mutual  human involvement.  Even  a  hermit , living in seclusion, is indirectly the beneficiary  of the labour  of others.   
 We learn our first lesson of maintaining  good will from our family. If a family is well knit and has a positive outlook, it will be transmitted to the members. Here the Mother’s role is very significant.It  is the mother who has to inculcate   good values in the children.The concept of  tolerance, concern for the feelings of others  and to a  large extent selflessness, good behaviour  and co-operation  is acquired by the children  in their early years . These  values get ingrained  in their system. The mother ,therefore,  is  a psychologist.who can  effectively  judge the emotions of her  household.  The  mother  is the  first and foremost  teacher.
 Next  comes the school. The school plays a very important part  in the development of the child.  The character  building process starts within the boundary of the school.The qualities of  sharing,  give and take  and shouldering responsibility  are acquired at the school level. It is within  the precincts of  the school  that the qualities of  head and heart  and  discipline are imbibed in the individual  and  equip   him to face the challenges  of   life.  Education  will not be   complete if the child is not  exposed to the vagaries  of  the harsh world.  It is generally noticed  that the  children who have not  taken  any  formal education, are by nature  not very  co-operative   and do not possess a very pleasing disposition. The  habits that we have acquired in childhood in   our school and college remain with us forever. In fact these experiences form  the basis  of human relations.  Education  leads us to the royal path of virtues   like  equanimity,  good will  and  fellow feeling.          As we grow  we   come across various characters,  young and old,  pleasant and not so   pleasant, fun loving and morose. We have to tackle  them  all. Human  nature varies from person to person. We have to adjust  with every one. I  have  come across  characters  of all sorts during the course of my professional life. Dealing  with  human beings enabled  me   to  judge the natural  bent of mind  of individuals  to a great extent.The test of  a person’s credibility  in maintaining harmony starts from home. 
We have many times noticed  that  some people  who  show exemplary behaviour ,have a co operative  approach  and are very helpful  to others in the outside world  are  dictators at home.They are intolerant  and  virtually  abusive  and insensitive   towards the feelings and  requirements of their own family. Such  persons    are   utter failures  in  life. If we are good  within  the four walls of our home,it reflects on our  face  and personality. It is true saying that charity begins at home.
There are ten commandments of  good  behaviour( These have been taken from the google)
1.Speak to people: There  is nothing as nice  as a cheerful word of  greeting.
2. Smile at people : It takes 72 muscles to frown  and only 14 to smile. 
3. Call people by name: The sweetest music to anyone is  the sound of his/her own name.
4. Be friendly and helpful: If you want friends. you must be one.
5.Be cordial : Speak and act as if every thing you do is a joy for you.
6.Be genuinely interested in people: You can like almost  anyone if you try.
7.Be generous with praise : Be cautious with criticism.
8.Be considerate with the feelings of others :Usually there are three sides to a controversy Yours, the other fellows and the right side.
9,Be eager to lend a helping hand:Often  it is appreciated  more than you know
10. Add to this:  A good sense of humour, a huge dose of patience and a dash of humility. This combination will open many doors and the rewards will be enormous.

Wednesday, 25 December 2013

Surprise homecoming of a lark

Twenty second  December, Sunday, dawned like any other normal day. A cold winter morning, when we get up from our cosy beds later than other days. My younger grand daughter, a dancer in the making, who  is the Vice President of the choreo society of her college, cannot  miss a single dance class.  She had a dance class and was in no mood to drive to her college. She wanted to be dropped  at her college. After a brief  discussion, whether her Mom or Papa should drop  her, it was decided that her father   (my son)  would drop the dancer . After the son and daughter left, we were just lazing around, when a tornado  began gathering strength, slowly  but  imperceptibly  proceeded towards our house. It came in the form of a telephone call..  It is nothing unusual  for the phone to ring. But on Sunday , it was a call which left me  perplexed, stupefied and speechless for a second.It was a call from  my elder grand daughter studying in Boston, USA. She is a student of Phd. (Physics) . She had informed me  early last week that she was going for a  camp for four days, along with her friends.  We speak with her every day. She specifically told me that there was no possibility of  a signal in the camp area. and that it would not be possible to access her.
 This  call was from  my grand daughter.  I was calling her since morning, as it was expected that she would reach  back to her house on Sunday, but there was no response. As the bell kept ringing I presumed that she would have reached  back  from the  camp. The moment I heard her voice, I  bombarded her with questions,  when  did she reach, how was the camp, was it snowing there....... She interrupted me and said," Dadi, listen to me first. I am not in Boston. I am in Delhi." I thought she was just kidding and without allowing her to complete her sentence I told her not to fabricate any stories. She sounded  annoyed and said,"Listen to me . I am at the airport., I will reach home in half an hour.  Don't disclose this news  to any one at home. Let it be a surprise." Wow, R is  in Delhi!  How she decided to come to Delhi  and many more queries were unanswered. But I was thrilled !!  My husband was sleeping. I woke him and told him that R is in Delhi, he was very excited.When my son came home, I told the news to him, even though I was barred  from disclosing it to anyone.  He did not believe me at first. He too was very enthusiastic. Soon after R arrived , the call bell  rang, the scene was ecstatic! We were elated. My daughter-in-law was taking bath. After her bath my son told her that a lady had come to meet me and was waiting in my room. The reaction of the mother , on seeing her daughter so unexpectedly was too emotional. Her tears of joy were dripping uncontrollably. She was almost hysterical. I felt it was all a dream. Just imagine she came all the way from USA without informing anyone at home!! She called her sister in her college  and the younger one's reaction was also of disbelief. She almost fell from the the stage.  Our  enthusiasm for Christmas celebration  knew no bounds. The house presents a festive look.

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Haiku Heights #314 - Gifts

bright portrait of adorable baby - stock photo

 Gift of god,
a sweet little baby girl
sent from heaven. 
 Season of gifts
delighted every soul
manna of Xmas

jolly santa claus

 Here comes Santa.
  gifts  plenty full for all
kids sing carols.

a very merry christmas

Prompted by Haiku Heights # 314--Gifts
pics  courtesy  google

A blessing in disguise

Mr. and Mrs. David, our neighbour,  planned to visit Kashmir  during Mr. David's annual leave. On the day of the departure there were heavy showers. There was water logging . The airport was  far from their residence. They had to report an hour earlier from the time of  departure of the flight. Due to heavy traffic jam, they reached  the airport very late. Inspite of their pleading, they were not allowed to enter the airport . They returned home disappointed. As luck would have it, the aeroplane,  in which they were to travel, crashed. It proved to be a blessing in disguise.

This true incident has been reported here (names changed) in response to Write Tribe Prompt 100 words on Saturday. The topic, ' Blessing in disguise' suggested by Madam Shilpa Garg ,a  perspicacious blogger.
100 Words on Saturday - Write Tribe

Saturday, 21 December 2013


   When I was small I studied in a  Convent School. The prayer which we recited  is still etched in my mind.The following prayer  is so deep rooted that I can never forget it.                                           
                                         Our Father, which art in heaven,
                                                Hallowed be thy Name.
                                                   Thy Kingdom come.
                                          Thy will be done in earth,
                                                 As it is in heaven.
                                           Give us this day our daily bread.
                                             And forgive us our trespasses
                                                  For ever and ever.
Being a Hindu, this prayer is always in my mind.A sincere prayer, which comes from the heart recited in any language, or pertaining to any religion  gives solace and alleviates our mind.  After all what is a prayer. It is our  conversation with God to thank Him for His mercies and to seek His blessings. We pray to God to solicit  His grace and  kindness for us and our near and dear ones.
   There are various methods by which we pray. Different religious institutions propagate different  forms  for seeking  the kindness of God Almighty. But one thing common to every religion is that we must be kind, truthful, sincere, earnest and righteous towards all living beings. The teachings of every religion is similar.Whether we go to a church, a temple,a mosque or a gurdwara the same God is omnipresent.

Church of Redemption, Delhi
Rakabganj gurdwara Delhi

Jama Masjid - Delhi, Delhi
Jama masjid, Delhi.
Guruvayur temple, Kerala

  Prayers can be performed in different ways. We may read from the scriptures or recite it. We may sing or chant  spontaneously as we pray. There may be  musical accompaniment with it.A prayer must come from the heart. Whereas we may pray for one hour, but still may not be praying, but if  we  pray for five minutes  with  sincerity, it will have an lasting effect and will be heard by God.You must have seen in movies an old lady, with a mala in her hand praying, but actually not concentrating, giving instructions to the family or the servants. Prayers  may be offered mentally as meditation.. Often, there are prayers to fit specific occasions, such as the blessing of God for some significant events in the life of a believer, or on  days of the year that have special religious importance.
                   God is one .He is  the only supreme power. The power of prayer is such that it transforms  the complete  personality an individual. We all know that Maharishi Valmiki, a wayside robber,became a great saint just by reciting the name of  lord Rama. The power of prayer is real and palpable.It can be felt by an individual. This in it self is a gift bestowed by Him.God cares for us. We  too should ,on our part be steadfast in our devotion.  
     God knows us well.Every  thought, every action and every deed performed by us is known to Him.We can therefore go to Him  and bare our heart to Him.Some people approach god  with an ulterior motive. They offer 'bribe' in return for the mercies that they demand. He will shower His blessings only if one deserves them. He is all powerful and can gauge our feelings and emotions without our asking.
    I am a firm believer of God. I feel that He is protecting me and my family. I vividly remember that during my cancer surgery His presence  was with me. The dazzling lights of Heaven and His protective hands raised in blessing me, were  not only comforting but engulfed my whole being in His tender fold.I surrender  to God Almighty in all humility.
  In this week of  Merry Christmas I pray to God to shower his grace and kindness on all beings. I wish all my friends a merry Christmas.

 pics courtesy google..
Reposted for BAR  on26 .01.2015


Wednesday, 18 December 2013

Are they not cute ?

Small babies are always cute. What ever they do and how ever they do, they are lovable. I have compiled some videos of cute babies in different actions  Enjoy the following videos and divert your attention from the daily humdrum of life.



   videos courtesy google.                                    

Tuesday, 17 December 2013

Haiku Heights #313 - Dew

Happy good morning,
brilliant rows of pearls  glow.
sun devours all'

Morning dew on Cosmos sulphureus, 'Bright Lights'.

Delicate petals smile,
dew drops  saddle  morning hours
feel no burden.

Prompted by  Haiku Heights #313- Dew

pics  courtesy google

Monday, 16 December 2013

A true inspiration.

Following is an article written by Smt. Sudha Murthi who is the chairperson of the Infosys Foundation involved in a number of social development initiatives. This is a very inspiring article, which was sent to me by a friend, I want to share with others.


It was probably the April of 1974. Bangalore was getting warm and gulmohars were blooming in the I.I.Sc. campus.I was the only girl in my post graduate department and was staying in the ladies' hostel.Other girls were pursuing research in different  departments of Science.
I was looking forward to going abroad to complete a doctorate in computer science.I had been offered scholarships from Universities in the US... I had not thought of taking up a job in India.
 One day the   way to my hostel from our lecture-hall complex, I saw an advertisement on the notice board. It was a standard job-requirement notice from the famous automobile company Telco (now Tata Motors)... It stated that the company required young, bright engineers, hardworking and with an excellent academic background, etc. At the bottom there was a small line :' Lady candidates need not apply.'
                     I read it and was very upset.For the first time in my life I was up against gender discrimination.
Though I was not keen on taking up the job,I saw it as a challenge. I had done extremely well in academics, better than most of my male peers.Little did I know then that in real life academic excellence is not enough to be successful.
After reading the notice I went fuming to my room.I decided to inform the topmost  person in Telco's management about the injustice the injustice the company was perpetrating. I got a post card a postcard and started to write, but there was a problem:I did not know who headed Telco.I thought it must be one of the  Tatas.I knew JRD Tata was the head of the Tata Group: I had seen his pictures in newspapers {actually Sumant  Moolgaokar was the company's chairman then) I took the card, addressed it to JRD and sterted writing. To this day I remember clearly what I wrote.
 The great Tatas have always been pioneers. They are the people who started the basic infrastructure industries in India, such as iron and steel, chemicals,textiles and locomotives. They have cared for higer education in India since 1900 and they were responsible for the establishment of Indian Institute of Science. Fortunately, I study there. But I am surprised how a company such as Telco is  discriminating on the basis of gender.'
I posted the letter and forgot about it.Less then 10 days later, I received a tel egram stating that I had to appear for an interview at Telco's Pune faculty at the companies expense. I was taken aback by the telegram. My hostel mate told me I should use the opportunity to to go to Pune free of cost and buy them the famous Pune saris for cheap! I collected Rs30 each from everyone who wanted a sari when I look back, I feel like laughing at the reasons for my going, but back then they seemed good enough to make the trip.

It was my first visit to Pune and I immediately fell in love with the city.

To this day it remains dear to me. I feel as much at home in Pune as I do in Hubli, my hometown. The place changed my life in so many ways. As directed, I went to Telco's Pimpri office for the interview.

There were six people on the panel and I realized then that this was serious business.

'This is the girl who wrote to JRD,' I heard somebody whisper as soon as I entered the room. By then I knew for sure that I would not get the job. The realization abolished all fear from my mind, so I was rather cool while the interview was being conducted.

Even before the interview started, I reckoned the panel was biased, so I told them, rather impolitely, 'I hope this is only a technical interview.'

They were taken aback by my rudeness, and even today I am ashamed about my attitude.

The panel asked me technical questions and I answered all of them.

Then an elderly gentleman with an affectionate voice told me, 'Do you know why we said lady candidates need not apply? The reason is that we have never employed any ladies on the shop floor. This is not a co-ed college; this is a factory. When it comes to academics, you are a first ranker throughout. We appreciate that, but people like you should work in research laboratories.

I was a young girl from small-town Hubli. My world had been a limited place.

I did not know the ways of large corporate houses and their difficulties, so I answered, 'But you must start somewhere, otherwise no woman will ever be able to work in your factories.'

Finally, after a long interview, I was told I had been successful. So this was what the future had in store for me. Never had I thought I would take up a job in Pune. I met a shy young man from Karnataka there, we became good friends and we got married.

It was only after joining Telco that I realized who JRD was: the uncrowned king of Indian industry. Now I was scared, but I did not get to meet him till I was transferred to Bombay. One day I had to show some reports to Mr Moolgaokar, our chairman, who we all knew as SM. I was in his office on the first floor of Bombay House (the Tata headquarters) when, suddenly JRD walked in. That was the first time I saw 'appro JRD'. Appro means 'our' in Gujarati. This was the affectionate term by which people at Bombay House called him.

I was feeling very nervous, remembering my postcard episode. SM introduced me nicely, 'Jeh (that's what his close associates called him), this young woman is an engineer and that too a postgraduate.

She is the first woman to work on the Telco shop floor.' JRD looked at me. I was praying he would not ask me any questions about my interview (or the postcard that preceded it).

Thankfully, he didn't. Instead, he remarked. 'It is nice that girls are getting into engineering in our country. By the way, what is your name?'

'When I joined Telco I was Sudha Kulkarni, Sir,' I replied. 'Now I am Sudha Murthy.' He smiled and kindly smile and started a discussion with SM. As for me, I almost ran out of the room.

After that I used to see JRD on and off. He was the Tata Group chairman and I was merely an engineer. There was nothing that we had in common. I was in awe of him.

One day I was waiting for Murthy, my husband, to pick me up after office hours. To my surprise I saw JRD standing next to me. I did not know how to react. Yet again I started worrying about that postcard. Looking back, I realize JRD had forgotten about it. It must have been a small incident for him, but not so for me.

'Young lady, why are you here?' he asked. 'Office time is over.' I said, 'Sir, I'm waiting for my husband to come and pick me up.' JRD said, 'It is getting dark and there's no one in the corridor. I'll wait with you till your husband comes.'

I was quite used to waiting for Murthy, but having JRD waiting alongside made me extremely uncomfortable.

I was nervous. Out of the corner of my eye I looked at him. He wore a simple white pant and shirt. He was old, yet his face was glowing. There wasn't any air of superiority about him. I was thinking, 'Look at this person. He is a chairman, a well-respected man in our country and he is waiting for the sake of an ordinary employee.'

Then I saw Murthy and I rushed out. JRD called and said, 'Young lady, tell your husband never to make his wife wait again.'
 In 1982 I had to resign from my job at Telco. I was reluctant to go, but I really did not have a choice. I was coming down the steps of Bombay House after wrapping up my final settlement when I saw JRD coming up. He was absorbed in thought. I wanted to say goodbye to him, so I stopped. He saw me and paused.

Gently, he said, 'So what are you doing, Mrs. Kulkarni?' (That was the way he always addressed me.) 'Sir, I am leaving Telco.'

'Where are you going?' he asked. 'Pune, Sir. My husband is starting a company called Infosys and I'm shifting to Pune. 
Oh, and what will you do after you are successful?

'Sir, I don't know whether we will be successful.' 'Never start with diffidence,' he advised me
'Always start with confidence. When you are successful you must give back to society. Society gives us so much; we must reciprocate. Wish you all the best.'

Then JRD continued walking up the stairs. I stood there for what seemed like a millennium. That was the last time I saw him alive.

Many years later I met Ratan Tata in the same Bombay House, occupying the chair JRD once did. I told him of my many sweet memories of working with Telco. Later, he wrote to me, 'It was nice hearing about Jeh from you.
The sad part is that he's not alive to see you today.'

I consider JRD a great man because, despite being an extremely busy person, he valued one postcard written by a young girl seeking justice. He must have received thousands of letters everyday. He could have thrown mine away, but he didn't do that. He respected the intentions of that unknown girl, who had neither influence nor money, and gave her an opportunity in his company. He did not merely give her a job; he changed her life and mindset forever.

Close to 50 per cent of the students in today's engineering colleges are girls. And there are women on the shop floor in many industry segments. I see these changes and I think of JRD. If at all time stops and asks me what I want from life, I would say I wish JRD were alive today to see how the company we started has grown. He would have enjoyed it wholeheartedly.

My love and respect for the House of Tata remains undiminished by the passage of time. I always looked up to JRD. I saw him as a role model for his simplicity, his generosity, his kindness and the care he took of his employees. Those blue eyes always reminded me of the sky; they had the same vastness and magnificence.
(Sudha Murthy is a widely published writer and chairperson of the Infosys Foundation involved in a number of social development initiatives. Infosys chairman Narayana Murthy is her husband.)

Article sourced from: Lasting Legacies (Tata Review- Special Commemorative Issue 2004), brought out by the house of Tatas to commemorate the 100th birth anniversary of JRD Tata on July 29, 2004 .