The little daughter

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The moment she is born, her smile, brighter than the sun, more beautiful than a flower, refreshes the senses of her parents and anyone who holds her. She brings in joy in the home every moment till the time she grows up and is given away so she could start her own family.

Here is a tale of how a daughter loved her father even at the cost of her life and yet she smiled till the end.

In those ignorant days of old, it was customary to bury female children for want of sustenance or just plain peer pressure. Fathers, when they saw that there were more daughters than sons, would quietly take their daughters and bury them alive: All this, without the slightest remorse. What an awfully evil tradition, indeed!

It is evening. The father gets up, holds the little hand of his four-year old daughter, carries a few ploughing tools and departs from home. They take the path which leads to the jungle.

His sole intention is to bury her and come back home.

Perhaps, he is short of sustenance and cannot keep up with the demand of food and clothing. He is too much under pressure. The debt has been rising consistently. He has received a counsel from his friends, which made sense to him. The justification is that he could save on some food if he gets rid of his daughter while his sons will bring him lots of provision once they attain their age. He is convinced, yet, hesitatingly. He is in two minds but the words of the counsel have made a deep impact on him.

As they walk, the only thing he could notice is the occasional queries from the little one whose hand he is holding.

She looks up to her father, smiles and asks, “Dear father, are you taking me to show those nice birds in the jungle? It is so nice of you. Can we bring in lots of flowers back home? I will play with them.”

“But isn’t it strange that we are going to watch birds in the night? But, I don’t mind!” she says with a smile on her face. While being oblivious to the fact that she will never see the return path of her home, let alone the home where she was born and the family that cuddled her as she grew up.

The father was silent as stone and never looked at her fearing that an element of compassion should enter into his mind and compel him to abandon his mission. He walks insolently, like a charging soldier would, with tools in one hand and a frail child in the other.

As she tries to shoo away the jungle mosquitoes while they walk, she occasionally would peek at him, anticipating a reply but would get none. She doesn’t mind the answer now because she is happy that her father is taking her to a place where she can have fun for a time. She starts to imagine all that she will do once they reach there. It is going to happen in just a short while from now. The blush on her face bears witness to it.

They stop by a huge tree where her father starts to dig a hole in the land. The kid doesn’t say a word. She trusts that her father is doing something that will benefit her and make her happy.

Her father used to bring her sweets and used to feed her with his own hands. She would sit on his shoulders and they would take a walk or just play until they laughed out aloud. He even picked a thorn which had entered her foot while she played outside. Since, her father picked the thorn, it didn’t hurt. Later, she had slept by his side peacefully and rested her little head on his strong arm.

As he dug the ground some soil flung over his sleeves. Before he could react, he saw that his daughter, with her little hands, started cleaning up the soil. He looked at her and found a smile on her face. She cleaned up the entire soil from her father’s clothes and signalled him to continue without a hint of an idea as to what he was up to. If she were strong and old enough, she would have helped her father in digging the hole.

For the first time, a drop of tear formed in the stone-hearted man’s eyes who ploughed like a soldier, except that the enemy this time was his own little daughter who was standing besides him.

Daughters usually stand by their fathers in everything that they do. They look at them as role-models, heroes; and are very proud of them. If the world were to turn against her father, the daughter will be the first to stand in defiance in order to protect him even at the cost of her life.

He dug the land while his daughter cleaned up his clothes continuously. She couldn’t tolerate even one speck of soil on her father’s clothes.

Finally, the hole in the ground was big enough for the frail little child. Her built was such that it didn’t give her father a huge task of digging up a bigger hole. A small hole in the ground was enough for her to go in and play.

“Go and lie down there”, her father commanded, albeit with a tremble in his voice.

“Father! What are we playing?”

“Just keep quite and lie down there.”, her father barked.

“Do I have to close my eyes?” said her as she closed her eyes and smiled again like all the kids do.

There she lay in the hole with her eyes closed and her little fists working hard to keep itself in a closed position while occasionally she would cheat by opening up her right eye and shutting it immediately for fear of being caught.

Her father looked away for a while and took a heavy breadth. He was here on a mission and he must accomplish what he came here for.

“Father! Hurry up. Let’s play. Let me know when to open the eyes.”

The four-year old thought her father was playing a new game, may be something like hide and seek and she was looking forward to it. She trusted her father. What’s the matter? Today, he appeared different.

Fathers are looked upon by their kids as a source of trust and security. Something like a fort with an army that can keep them safe. When they are in the arms of fathers they feel a serene sensation of peace and of being protected.

He started pulling the soil over her little one as she lay in the hole. She had a naughty smile on her lips and every time a particle of soil would hit her face she would contract her eyes shyly and smile.

‘Seems like the game had started. My father will hide me in the soil and then teach me the game’, she thought.

The game had indeed started. The ‘Game of Death’, but she was oblivious of the plot her father had in his mind.

He kept pulling the soil over with frenzy. Looking away; while his eyes would continue shedding tears and moisten the soil below. He couldn’t see the tremble in the hole as the child suffocated. Her muted call for help lay lost in the wilderness of the dark jungle. He waited till there was no shaking of the earth.

Silence!

Except the occasional echo of the wolves howling behind the mountains or the sounds of the bats taking their flight as they flap their wings or the groaning of the owls. Without giving a second glance he walked away towards his home. The path was barely visible on account of a crescent moon.  He walked like a looser, who has just been defeated in the battle, laying low his arsenal. He felt the tools he was carrying were heavier than ever.

For the child who was returned to the soil, there was no butterfly, no colourful bird, no flower, no game. She lay there silent in the very soil she cleaned up her father’s sleeves. Without complaint of any kind. Just a smile, even as she laid herself in the trap of her father.

The last hope of her life gave her the last breadth of life.

Now, the game was over. An evil game indeed!

That was the last time a girl child was buried alive in that village.

His soul made him restless. His guilt started consuming him vehemently. He repented to God day and night. The Almighty did forgive him seeing how he repented and gave the man a change of heart.

He went far and wide preaching against this senseless violence of burying girl child alive and would himself stand guard to protect these little angels from meeting the devastating fate at the very hands that are supposed to take care of her.

His message was simple for the world to hear, “Protect and love that which brings joy to you. That which is a source of coolness for your eyes. That which loves you for what you are and stands by you even when the world were to desert you. The first one to run for help if you are to get hurt. The first to wipe your tears if you are abandoned by fate. The one who stands by you at all times and believes in you even if the world were to reject you. The one who will still continue to love you even when you do not deserve to be loved. All this for the return of a simple price: ‘A smile on my father’s face!’”

An article of faith

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Faith

If you think you are beaten, you are,
If you think you dare not, you don’t,
If you like to win, but you think you can’t,
It is almost certain, you won’t.

If you think you’ll lose, you’re lost,
For out of the world we find,
Success begins with a fellow’s will –
It’s all in the state of mind.

If you think you are outclassed, you are,
You’ve got to think high to rise,
You’ve got to be sure of yourself before
You can ever win a prize.

Life’s battles don’t always go
To the stronger or faster man,
But soon or late the man who wins
Is the man who thinks he can!

                                    – Annonymous

Faith rules, us, that is!

It is opposite of knowledge. It is not about knowing. It is about believing. Believing what is hidden and unknown. It is about trusting your guts. It is about staking your life on it!

Without faith, there is no science; no starting point. There is no premise. It all starts with faith. Scientists believe that certain things happen in a certain way. They believed that if a metal tube filled with gas is to be shot up into the heaven under certain circumstances, then it has the power to land human on moon. It all starts with belief; with hypothesis.

Faith causes ‘miracles’ as we know it. Faith is powerful. It has the capability and potential to deliver you out of failure. It raises the effect of ordinary to that of extraordinary and has the power to rescue the unknown to the known.

Faith is easy. It doesn’t need proof. It originates ideas and concepts. It gives power to think big. It gives power to do big.

Man is now able to fly in air and travel through space surpassing the speed of sound. Man can now stay underwater and control huge vessels at sea. It is the power of faith that has propelled man to launch such mega ambitions confidently. It is this power of mind that can propel you towards success; towards riches or towards fulfillment of life’s ambitions.

So, go ahead and exploit this power and you will be amazed at what you can achieve just by having faith in yourself and the belief that you can do it whether the world is with you or against! This power has the potential to change self or move masses of a billion people holding on to a single concept running across all the souls.

The only unique thread that runs across all the leaders of the past and the present is ‘faith’, by which they were able to bring about certain change in the way we think, the way we transact or the way we carry out our social intercourse.

Life as an employer

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“I bargained with life for a penny,
And Life would pay no more,
However, I begged at evening,
When I counted my scanty store.

For Life is a just employer,
He gives you what you ask,
But once you have set the wages,
Why, you must bear the task.

I worked for a menial’s hire,
Only to learn, dismayed,
That any wage I had asked of Life,
Life would have willingly paid”
                       – Anonymous

A great poet crystallized the essence of success in this world in the above lines. ‘..any wage I had asked of Life, Life would have willingly paid’. It is essentially on us and our readiness to accept the challenges and risks in life. The greater the risk, the higher you stick out and the easier it is to be spotted by opportunity.

It is also about desire. Desire to get things that we love. Desire to do things that we love. And, desire to be free.

Dream and desire are twin brothers. They are with each other all the time. Bigger the dream, bigger the desire to achieve that. Bigger the desire, bigger the challenges. Bigger the challenges, bigger the risks. Bigger the risks, bigger the opportunities. More opportunities potentially bring in more wealth.

But to dream big and have burning desire to fulfill those dreams also calls in for personal readiness. By dreaming big, we put demands on ourselves. But, the question is: Are we ready to accept failures and defeat? Are we ready to accept wealth and riches? In short: Are we ready to accept the fallout of such dreams and desires? If the answer is a resounding ‘yes’, then it’s the way to go.

There are people in this world who accept what comes their way by way of compromises. They are like beggars who come out in the evening. Not a substance of their own. They are like detached feathers that come off a bird as it takes flight. These feathers move in the direction of the wind without any purpose in life. They come in this world crying. They continue what they did during their birth and finally accept silence when they depart from this life. Without a purpose in life, they are simply fillers and perhaps a burden on the planet.

There are people in the world who accept challenges and chart out their ways with definiteness of purpose. They do not accept deviations. They are like the arrow which has just left the bow. With a purpose. To hit the target. A definite purpose. They are the pioneers. Pathfinders. They do not sway. Winds of change do not affect them. They know who they are. They know what they can do. They carry the air of confidence. When they leave the world, they leave a vacuum. Which is filled by someone of the same caliber. They are also knowledge creators. They have heavy demands from others, as they have on self. Disciplined and uncompromising.

The latter demands huge wages from Life and Life, looking at the confidence provides that is being asked. While the former begs for a paltry sum but sadly, Life doesn’t entertain beggars.

So, go out in the world and demand what you have in your dreams and be ready to catch the Golden Apple that Life will then throw at you.

Blobs of color

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What happens when water spills on your expensive navy blue shirt?

Imagine, you are about to be called in for an interview for a cool job. You are waiting outside for that nice break. You are thirsty. You drink water. Ouch! The water spills on your shirt. An ugly blob of dark blue shade.

It’s your turn to get in. What do you do?

You get tensed. You get nervous. You curse everything; the water, the shirt, yourself, the dog on the street, just about everything. The dark blue blob looks dirty, ugly, bad! Why is it bad? Is water bad? Is dark blue so ugly? Is it the shape? Who did it? You did it. You spilled the water. So, what? No explanation. You just hate the ugly sight!

Flow of emotions. Nothing rational.

What happens after few minutes of cursing, feeling sad, feeling disgusted? What happens to the dark blue ugly blob? It disappears!

It just disappears into thin air.

These blobs of colors then paint our emotions, and shape our behaviour. We grow with these. We give due (and undue attention) to it. We make it a part of us. But, in reality, they are just blobs of color on a shirt spilled with water. We get scared, at the same time, we are sad. Is there a reason? A justified, rational reason?

These blobs of color don’t stay on you beyond minutes. But, these drops of water do change our moods, our day and finally, our destiny?

Think about it!

The next time you feel lowly, remember, what you feel will not persist beyound mintues!

Knowledge as raiment

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Humans dress up. Animals can do without.

Other things that differentiate us from animals are creation, acquisition, expression and propagation of knowledge. Animals learn by observation. But, they cannot express or propagate knowledge the way we can. We call ourselves at least superior to animals.

Our outfits not only help us protect ourselves. They help make us look dignified. We dress up to look good. We dress up to feel good. We do it because it is natural for a human.

A man of knowledge is the one who sits dignified in the company of friends and strangers. It is like beautiful raiment worn. But, possession of knowledge alone is like a sealed bottle of perfume. When a man of knowledge speaks up and expresses his thoughts the real magic blossoms in air. Their words have exceptional power and ability not only to raise thoughts, transform minds and change altars, but move thrones and seats of power!

Words coming from a knowledgeable person are more valuable than value – they are invaluable.

Knowledge has hardly got anything to do with intelligence and genius. Men of knowledge in the past and present had average intelligence and mediocre genius. Men of knowledge in the future may not be any different. It is the purity of their words and thoughts that created magic. The application of what they said to their lives. Walk the talk. Without prejudice. Without expectations of things in return. True teachers. Able humans. Wore knowledge as their best raiment. Dignified!

Our raiment’s are branded. They belong to others. To the originators. Just like our thoughts. Not our own. They belong to others. We belong to others. Slaves. Need urgent emancipation. But, we are not ready. Our minds are emancipated from us. Our minds don’t belong to us any more!

Where is the dignity we expect from our raiment? But, where is the raiment of knowledge, which we can call our own – the unbranded one, the original, ours?

Was Charles Darwin right in his assumptions about humans? We really can’t answer that! Sadly, we don’t have our raiment which we can call our own.

The cutting edge

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Not the comedy film directed by Paul Glaser. Iam serious about this one. What really is the cutting edge?

My friend and I were having a small chat over coffee in our cafeteria? I listened to him when he talked about novelty devices flooding the market with ‘cutting edge technologies’. I asked him an obvious question, ‘What is meant by cutting-edge?’ He said, ‘Well, new and futuristic technologies!’

Does ‘cutting-edge’ really mean new and futuristic technology? Pretty hard to digest that!

I set out to find it out on my own.

A blade has a cutting-edge. Bleeding technology. I read that somewhere. I heard that from someone.

But, why is ‘technology’ associated with ‘cutting-edge’? Does it have anything to do with a blade? Does it? Pretty intriguing though!

After a lot of Googling, Wikiing and Cuillng I hit several sites and articles and read through reams of pages online. The cutting-edge was cutting through my brain.

One interesting site I visited was known as Anti-Knowledge (http://www.anti-knowledge.com). The way they’ve tried to explain various facets of knowledge was interesting.

It says, ‘Knowledge is not a clean sphere, but is a jagged structure defined by the cutting edge.’

Well, pretty close though to ‘cutting edge’! Sigh!

Further, it says, ‘The cutting edge is advancing at different rates across different disciplines of thought. For example, physics may be progressing at a faster rate than biology, but eventually all must come into ‘one.’

With new knowledge learnt, new questions arise, which in turn needs answers. New questions. New answers. The cycle continues and might eventually get full circle.

At times we, as humanity, are posed with challenging problems. The problems are surely new. We answers then need to be new. The thought processes needs to be new. Imagination must be radical. Out of the box. A small box. More outside. Less inside. Questions rising at a frenzied rate. Answers being shot with equal frenzy. More questions more answers. Less ambiguity. Clear, concise, accurate, sharp, cutting edge!

Did we say ‘cutting edge’?

Yes! We did!

Cutting edge of knowledge. Products are created out of knowledge. Out of knowing what is needed. Out of understanding human actions and reactions.

If human needs is a question, a well thought out product whose use rides purely on human intuition is the answer: A cutting edge product demonstrating a cutting edge technology.