Saturday, December 31, 2011

Welcome New Year 2012

Dear All,

Wish you and your family a very happy,healthy and fruitful New Year 2012.
All the best for all your personal and spiritual endeavors.

With Regards

Seek the Truth

In ancient Greece, Socrates was reputed to hold knowledge in high esteem. One day one fellow met the great philosopher and said, "Do you know what I just heard about your friend?". "Hold on a minute," Socrates replied. "Before telling me anything I'd like you to pass a little test. It's called the Triple Filter Test.". "Triple filter?". "That's right," Socrates continued. "Before you talk to me about my friend, it might be a good idea to take a moment and filter what you're going to say. That's why I call it the triple filter test. 

The first filter is Truth. Have you made absolutely sure that what you are about to tell me is true?" "No," the man said, "actually I just heard about it and...". "All right," said Socrates. "So you don't know if it's true or not.

 Now let's try the second filter, the filter of Goodness. Is what you are about to tell me about my friend something good?" . "No, on the contrary...". "So," Socrates continued, "you want to tell me something bad about him, but you're not certain it's true.

You may still pass the test though, because there's one filter left: the filter of Usefulness. Is what you want to tell me about my friend going to be useful to me?" "No, not really." "Well," concluded Socrates, "if what you want to tell me is neither true nor good nor even useful, why tell it to me at all?"

Well we can always participate in loose talks to curb our boredom. But when it comes to you friends its not worth it. Always avoid talking behind the back about your near and dear

Hidden Bliss

Among the villagers that live on the border, there was a family head who was very eloquent in speaking. One day his family horse without any clear reason fled to the North. Everyone tried to cheer him up. 

The family head said, "Will this sad event turn up to be happy event?" Few months have passed, and one day the horse returned back bringing back with him a very beautiful horse from the North. Everybody came to congratulate him. 

The man responded, "Will this happy event turn up to be sad event?" The family had owned another beautiful horse. The son of the family loved riding the horse. One day he fell from the horse and broke his leg. People came again to cheer him up. 

The head of the family again said, "Will this sad event turn up to be happy event?" One year later, a conqueror from the North came leading his army invading the borders. Everyone there who was still young went for the army. 

Almost 90 percent of the borders' citizens were recruited. The son of the man, as his leg was disabled, could not go for the war. Both the father and the son survived."

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Importance of Faith

Sri Rama Krishna Paramahamsa often used to describe a story to highlight the importance of faith.

A farmer's daughter duty was to carry fresh milk to customers in various villages, one of whom was a priest. To reach his house, the milk-maid had to cross a good-sized stream. People crossed it by a sort of ferry raft, for a small fee.

One day the priest, who performed worship daily with the offering to God of fresh milk, finding it arrived very late, scolded the poor woman.

"What can I do?" she said, "I start out early from my house, but I have to wait a long time for the boatman to come."

Then the priest said (pretending to be serious), "What! People have even walked across the ocean by repeating the name of God, and you can't cross this little river?"

This milk-maid took him very seriously. From then on she brought the priest's milk punctually every morning. He became curious about it and asked her how it was that she was never late any more.

"I cross the river repeating the name of the Lord," she replied, "just as you told me to do, without waiting for the ferry."

The priest didn't believe her, and asked, "Can you show me this, how you cross the river on foot?"

So they went together to the water and the milkmaid began to walk over it.

 Looking back, the woman saw that the priest had started to follow her and was floundering in the water.

"Sir!" she cried, "You are uttering the name of God, yet all the while you are holding up your clothes from getting wet. That is not trusting in God!"

If you lose faith you lose everything.

Faith in our selves, faith in God this is the secret, greatness.

If you have faith in all the three hundred and thirty million gods... still have no faith in yourselves, there is no salvation for you.

Boy’s Weakness

A 10-year-old boy decided to study judo despite the fact that he had lost his left arm in a devastating car accident.

The boy began lessons with an old Japanese judo master. The boy was doing well, so he couldn’t understand why, after three months of training the master had taught him only one move. “Sensei,”(Teacher in Japanese) the boy finally said, “Shouldn’t I be learning more moves?” “This is the only move you know, but this is the only move you’ll ever need to know,” the sensei replied.

Not quite understanding, but believing in his teacher, the boy kept training. Several months later, the sensei took the boy to his first tournament. Surprising himself, the boy easily won his first two matches. The third match proved to be more difficult, but after some time, his opponent became impatient and charged; the boy deftly used his one move to win the match. Still amazed by his success, the boy was now in the finals.

This time, his opponent was bigger, stronger, and more experienced. For a while, the boy appeared to be overmatched. Concerned that the boy might get hurt, the referee called a time-out. He was about to stop the match when the sensei intervened. “No,” the sensei insisted, “Let him continue.” Soon after the match resumed, his opponent made a critical mistake: he dropped his guard. Instantly, the boy used his move to pin him. The boy had won the match and the tournament.

He was the champion. On the way home, the boy and sensei reviewed every move in each and every match. Then the boy summoned the courage to ask what was really on his mind.

“Sensei, how did I win the tournament with only one move?”

“You won for two reasons,” the sensei answered. “First, you’ve almost mastered one of the most difficult throws in all of judo. And second, the only known defense for that move is for your opponent to grab your left arm.”

The boy’s biggest weakness had become his biggest strength.

Moral: Sometimes we feel that we have certain weaknesses and we blame God, the circumstances or ourselves for it but we never know that our weaknesses can become our strengths one day. Each of us is special and important, so never think you have any weakness, never think of pride or pain, just live your life to its fullest and extract the best out of it!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Success Story of Sminu Jindal, MD, Jindal Saw Ltd.

You might be excused if you gape at Sminu Jindal. She is quite used to it. Busy shuffling around in her wheelchair as she goes about her office work, it takes a while to realise that she is paralyzed waist downwards. She makes multitasking on a wheelchair look so simple. As the managing director of Jindal Saw, one of the flagship companies of USD 12 million of OP Jindal Group, Sminu has been instrumental in the diversification for pipe manufacturer to one with interest in infrastructure, transportation, logistics and fabrication.. .Sminu Jindal is the first lady entrant in the country to do her gender proud by breaking the glass ceiling in the steel, oil and gas sector in India. She is a woman of steely resolve. Sminu Jindal broke the stereotypical Marwari family mould and stormed the corporate boardroom that too in a wheelchair.

In spite of being confined to the wheelchair due to an accident at the age of 11, she has not allowed her spirit to be chained. On the contrary, it has added wheels to her determination to take life head on.

After completing her elementary schooling in Delhi, Sminu had joined the boarding at the prestigious Maharani Gayatri Devi School in Jaipur with a view to acquire holistic quality education. It was on one of those drives back home from Jaipur to Delhi that she met with a near fatal accident.

It was while she was returning to Delhi from her school, Maharani Gayatri Devi Girls’ School in Jaipur, that her car met with a terrible accident in which she lost movement of her lower body. “It took me a long time to realise what had happened to me, but my parents stood rock solid in helping me cope with the repercussions of the accident.

She was fortunate to survive but sustained a severe spinal cord injury and brain hemorrhage. The spinal injury left the lower half of her body paralysed. The next few years were very difficult and traumatic for her. She was just a young child of eleven in class six. As she woke up to the reality facing her, she shuddered at the thought that it would no longer remain the playful carefree life she had known. What hurt her most was the realization that she would no longer be able to dance. She was a talented Kathak dancer and a distinction holder at Bhartiya Kala Kendra at the age of nine.

Sminu does not flinch a bit while talking to me about this agonizing phase of her life and recalls with serene equanimity that it was indeed a period of complete personal mess. It was her family that became a deep source of emotional and psychological support for her in those moments. Her parents, especially her mother Arti, instilled the confidence in her that she would be able to go to a normal school and continue the day-to-day activities. They would encourage her to do the small routine things on her own without seeking anyone's sympathy or support. She would carry her bag to school, go for tuitions outside home like her sisters did and later joined a regular co-ed college after studying in a convent. Thus she 'was cared for but was not pampered'. This significant training at home toughened her mind and made her self-reliant so that she could face the life ahead with courage.

They never treated me differently from my sisters. My two younger sisters were also very sweet. When we would fight, I would call out to them to come and get thrashed by me and they would come! So it was a very normal upbringing for me where

I was never given any special consideration, be it organizing my cupboard or getting stuff from the kitchen. What is great is that once my parents accepted my condition, they educated themselves about it and found out the best possible treatments that would help me grow up the normal way.

They got me a machine that would make me stand up for a few hours everyday, so that I would be able to grow proportionately. I was at a growing age when the accident happened, and being confined to a wheelchair could have hampered the normal growth of my legs.”

And all this does not come out of quivering lips. Sminu is jovial and jests all along. She talks about her condition in the most matter-of-fact way. There is no hesitation or reluctance. She has no problem in accepting her condition, and neither has her husband, Indresh Batra, found it an issue.

They met at a friend’s party where the two got along over “nonsensical banter”. After which one thing led to another and they got married. They have two sons aged six and three. Incidentally, Sminu had a natural conception, after which she went to the US where experts tracked her pregnancy.

“We have a normal family life. Just like my parents, my husband too doesn’t give me any special treatment. We fight like every other husband and wife and indulge our children like other parents.”

Her message is simple: “What makes a person special is her work, her compassion and not her condition.”. It is easy to get impressed by her, since Sminu Jindal is an exceptional and exemplary woman of substance who does not shy away from challenges in all walks of life.

Her organisation ‘Svayam’ (an initiative of S J Charitable Trust) has been working closely with NDMC, ASI, DTC and the Education Ministry of Delhi to make public conveniences units, historical monuments like the Qutub Minar and Jalianwala Bagh, bus queue shelters and government schools accessible to all those with reduced mobility. Next on her agenda is to sensitize tourism in India - to help people with reduced mobility enjoy the splendour of our country.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

....The Comfort Zone

Once there was a king who received a gift of two magnificent falcons from Arabia. They were peregrine falcons, the most beautiful birds he had ever seen. He gave the precious birds to his head falconer to be trained.

Months passed and one day the head falconer informed the king that though one of the falcons was flying majestically, soaring high in the sky, the other bird had not moved from its branch since the day it had arrived.

The king summoned healers and sorcerers from all the land to tend to the falcon, but no one could make the bird fly.

He presented the task to the member of his court, but the next day, the king saw through the palace window that the bird had still not moved from its perch.

Having tried everything else, the king thought to himself, "May be I need someone more familiar with the countryside to understand the nature of this problem." So he cried out to his court, "Go and get a farmer."

In the morning, the king was thrilled to see the falcon soaring high above the palace gardens. He said to his court, "Bring me the doer of this miracle."

The court quickly located the farmer, who came and stood before the king. The king asked him, "How did you make the falcon fly?"

With his head bowed, the farmer said to the king, " It was very easy, your highness. I simply cut the branch where the bird was sitting."

We are all made to fly -- to realize our incredible potential as human beings. But instead of doing that, we sit on our branches, clinging to the things that are familiar to us.

The possibilities are endless, but for most of us, they remain undiscovered. We conform to the familiar, the comfortable, the mundane. So for the most part, our lives are mediocre instead of exciting, thrilling and fulfilling.

So let us learn to destroy the branch of fear we cling to and free ourselves to the glory of flight.

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

........How to Handle Problems Coming your Way

A wealthy man decided to go on a safari in Africa. He took his faithful pet Dachshund dog along for company.

One day, the Dachshund starts chasing butterflies and before long the Dachshund discovers that he is lost. Wandering about, he notices a leopard heading rapidly in his direction with the obvious intention of having lunch.

The Dachshund thinks, "I'm in deep trouble now! Then he noticed some bones on the ground close by and immediately settles down to chew on the bones with his back to the approaching cat. Just as the leopard is about to leap, the Dachshund exclaims loudly, Boy, that was one delicious leopard. I wonder if there are any more around here."

Hearing this, the leopard halts his attack in mid-stride, as a look of terror comes over him, and slinks away into the trees. "Whew," says the leopard. "That was close. That Dachshund! Nearly had me."

Meanwhile, a monkey who had been watching the whole scene from a nearby tree figures he can put this knowledge to good use and trade it for protection from the leopard. So, off he goes. But the Dachshund sees him heading after the leopard with great speed, and figures that something must be up.

The monkey soon catches up with the leopard, spills the beans and strikes a deal for himself with the leopard. The leopard is furious at being made a fool of and says, here monkey, hop on my back and see what's going to happen to that conniving canine.

Now the Dachshund sees the leopard coming with the monkey on his back and thinks What am I going to do now?" But instead of running, the dog sits down with his back to his attackers, pretending he hasn't seen them yet... and just when they get close enough to hear, the Dachshund says,

Where's that damn monkey? I sent him off half an hour ago to bring me another leopard."

Moral: It doesn't matter what cards you hold but how you play them!!
The more we sweat in practice, the less we bleed in battle.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The Fruits of Labour

There once lived a rich businessman who had a lazy and fun loving son. The businessman wanted his son to be hard-working and responsible. He wanted him to realize the value of labour. One day he summoned his son and said: "Today, I want you to go out and earn something, failing which you won't have your meals tonight."

The boy was callous and not used to any kind of work. This demand by his father scared him and he went crying straight to his mother. Her heart melted at the sight of tears in her son's eyes. She grew restless. In a bid to help him she gave him a gold coin.

In the evening when the father asked his son what he had earned, the son promptly presented him the gold coin. The father then asked him to throw it into a well. The son did as he was told.

The father was a man of wisdom and experience and guessed that the source of the gold coin was the boy's mother. The next day he sent his wife to her parent's town and asked his son to go and earn something with the threat of being denied the night meals if he failed.

This time he went crying to his sister who sympathized with him and gave him a rupee coin out of her own savings. When his father asked him what he had earned the boy tossed the rupee coin at him. The father again asked him to throw it in a well.

The son did it quite readily. Again the father's wisdom told him that the rupee coin was not earned by his son. He then sent his daughter to her in-laws' house. He again asked his son to go out and earn with the threat that he shall not have anything for dinner that night.

This time since there was no one to help him out; the son was forced to go to the market in search of work. One of the shopkeepers there told him that he would pay him two rupees if he carried his trunk to his house. The rich man's son could not refuse and was drenched in sweat by the time he finished the job. His feet were trembling and his neck and back were aching. There were rashes on his back.

As he returned home and produced the two rupee note before his father and was asked to throw it into the well, the horrified son almost cried out. He could not imagine throwing his hard-earned money like this.

He said amid sobbing: "Father! My entire body is aching. My back has rashes and you are asking me to throw the money into the well."

At this the businessman smiled. He told him that one feels the pain only when the fruits of hard labour are wasted. On earlier two occasions he was helped by his mother and sister and therefore had no pain in throwing the coins into the well.

The son had now realized the value of hard work. He vowed never to be lazy and safe keep the father's wealth. The father handed over the keys of his shop to the son and promised to guide him through the rest of the life.

Some of the life's best lessons come from the hardest situations.

Real Prosperity

A rich man asked Sengai to write something for the continued prosperity of his family so that it might be treasured from generation to generation.

Sengai obtained a large sheet of paper and wrote: "Father dies, son dies, grandson dies".

The rich man became angry, i asked you to write something for the happiness of my family! Why do you make such a joke at this?"

"No joke is intended, if before you yourself die your son should die, this would grieve you greatly. If your grandson should pass away before your son, both of you would be broken-hearted. If your family, generation after generation, passes away in the order I have named, It will be the natural course of life. I call this real prosperity", so explained Sengai.

What is natural flows effortlessly yet its course does not stray from perfection.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Threatening crisis

A president, a proffessor, a priest and an adventurer was flying with a private plane. However suddenly something unexpectedly bad happened to the plane during the flight. The pilot announced that the plane was in crisis and the four passengers would have to jump out using parachutes. However, there were only 3 parachutes available in that private plane, while there were 4 passengers abroad.

The first passenger, the president, stood up and said, "I am the president. My people and my country needs me. I'll take this parachute!", the president grabbed one and off he went. 

"I am a very highly educated man, and i play very big role in the society. My students and the society needs me, so this parachute shall be mine." said the second passenger, the proffessor. He then took several seconds whispering this to the priest, "Take this last parachute for yourself, teacher. Forget about that good for nothing lad". Hurriedly the proffessor grabbed the parachute and off he went.

The priest thought to himself, "I have always been teaching people to love others like how they love themselves and that is how i live...".So without further consideration, the priest said to the lad, "You, take this last parachute. My life is in His hands!" 

"Isnt there enough two parachutes for both of us?"the lad finally spoke up, "I think the proffessor was too tense and was in such rush that time that he grabbed the my backpack instead of parachute...".

When faced with urgent critical situation, one's real face tend to appear.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Bhavna becomes World’s first graduate using ‘eye – pointing’ system

The first thing that strikes you when you meet Bhavna Botta is how full of smiles she is. Not surprisingly, she was voted Miss Smiley — and Miss Final Year — at her B.A. Corporate Secretaryship department farewell party in Ethiraj College this year.

It has been a remarkable journey. Bhavna was born with Athetoid Cerebral Palsy, which means she is unable to walk, write by hand, or communicate verbally. Yet, she has defied all odds to complete her Class XII exams from a mainstream institution, Lady Andal Venkatasubba Rao Matriculation Higher Secondary School, and now her Bachelor’s degree from Ethiraj, all using a unique system of communication by ‘eye-pointing’.

“She is definitely the first person in India — and possibly in the world — to have finished a college degree using the eye-pointing system,” says Kalpana, her mother. With this system, Bhavana communicates — and writes her exams — using a chart of alphabets in numbered columns, spelling out what she wants to say by pointing at the columns with her eyes. The chart was developed specially for her at Vidyasagar (a voluntary organisation that works with children and young adults with cerebral palsy and other neurological disabilities), where she studied until Class X. That’s what she uses during this interview as well, spelling out her answers so rapidly at times that Kalpana can’t keep up.

Foremost on her mind is her emotional parting with M. Thavamani, her principal at Ethiraj College who retired recently, and whom she went to college to say goodbye to. “It was a very unique feeling,” says Bhavna, “something I’ve never experienced before.”

Thavamani describes the meeting in touchingly similar terms: “It was a very emotional moment for both of us; I can’t begin to express the kind of affection Bhavna’s shown me, the department and her classmates.”

She adds: “When I first met the child, I did wonder if she would be able to manage. But today I can say that having been Bhavna’s teacher — I taught her accountancy in her first year — is something I’m truly proud of in my career of 35 years.”

Like any youngster, Bhavna’s fondest memories of her three years in college are of the friendships she formed and of all the fun she’s had. The word she spells out most often is ‘fun’, amidst plenty of laughter, as her mother talks about her adventures in learning to wear a sari and her insistence on going to the beach even though the salt water plays havoc with her wheelchair.

Is she signing up for a postgraduate degree? Her family is trying to convince her to do so. But her mind’s made up and it has been since she was in Class VIII — Bhavna plans to start her own business. “She’s geared all her decisions towards this, whether it was taking accountancy in Class XI or choosing Entrepreneurial Development as her elective in college,” says Meenakshi Subramanian, member of Vidyasagar’s Disability Legislation Unit (DLU), and Bhavna’s close friend and scribe.

She’s already decided on the sort of business she’s like to do — a socially responsible venture selling organic cotton and ahimsa silk saris and dress materials — and she has friends and family collecting information for her on different aspects.

But when Kalpana talks about family funding the venture, Bhavna protests vehemently — she’s determined to start her business with a loan from the National Handicapped Finance and Development Corporation (NHFDC) instead. Her answer to my question “Why business?” was simply to spell out “independence”.

“What’s the next step?” earns a similarly simple response: “Launching the business.” With this plucky young woman’s track record, you’ve got to believe it will happen, sooner rather than later.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Too Full to Learn

Nan Yin master is a very well known Zen master at that time of Ming dynasty. One day, he was visited by a scholar who came to ask about Zen teachings. 

Nan Yin master served him with tea. The master then poured the tea water to the teacup. Even though the tea water had filled the teacup, the master kept on pouring it in. 

The scholar observed it with perplexion. Finally the scholar broke the silence, "Master! The tea water have spilled over the table. Please do not pour in more!" "

You are just like this teacup," said Nan Yin master. "In it contains all your perspectives and philosophies. If you do not empty your cup first, how can i pour Zen teachings to you?"


Those who are full of their own opinions will be deaf to words of wisdom from others. In a discussion between two persons, what often happens is that each is intent on asserting his own views. As a result, apart from hearing his own voice or views, he does not learn anything else.

Be humble in learning and you will learn more.

Friday, December 16, 2011

The King's Dream

A King woke up dreaming about losing all his teeth. He summoned a very well known fortune teller of his kingdom to interpret his dream. "All losing teeth means the death of the whole family...", the fortune teller responded. 

Like stricken by thunder, the king got very angry, and he was very furious about it. So he ordered a sentence of 20 times whip to be given to the fortune teller.

The king was still curious by then, and so he again summoned another fortune teller of the kingdom. 

After listening to the story, the fortune teller with a smile said," The dream is saying that Your Highness is the luckiest person in the whole world. You will live longer than the rest of the other family members."

Having heard the explanation, a bright smile cracked in the king's face. He was delighted and awarded 5 gold coins to the fortune teller.

Expression of thoughts determines how it is perceived.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Thief Who Became A Disciple

One evening as Shicirin Kojun was reciting sutras, a thief with a sharp sword entered, demanding either his money or his life.
Shichiri told him: "Do not disturb me. You can find the money in that drawer. Then he resumed his recitation.
A little while afterwards, he stopped and called: "Don't take it all. I need some to pay taxes with tomorrow." The intruder gathered up most of the money and started to leave. "Thank a person when you receive a gift," Shicirin added. The man thanked him and made off.
A few days afterwards the fellow was caught and confessed, among others, the offence against Shichiri. 

When Shichiri was called as a witness he said: "This man is no thief, at least as far as I am concerned. I gave him the money and he thanked me for it."
After he had finished his prison term, the man went to Shichiri and became his disciple.

Only love can conquer all

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Don't We All

Fun & Info @

One evening I was parked in front of the mall wiping off my car. I had just come from the car wash and was waiting for my wife to finish work. Coming my way from across the parking lot was what society would consider a bum. From the looks of him he had no car, no home, no clean clothes and no money.
There are times when you feel generous, but there are times that you just don't want to be bothered. This was one of the "Don't want to be bothered" times! " Hope he doesn't ask me for money," I thought. He didn't. He came and sat on the curb in front of the bus stop and he didn't look like he could have enough money to even ride the bus.

Fun & Info @

After a few minutes he spoke. "That's a very nice car," he said. He was ragged, but had an air of dignity around him. I said "Thanks," and continued wiping off my car. He sat there quietly as I worked. The expected plea for money never came. As the silence between us widened, something inside said, "Ask him if he needs any help." I was sure that he would say yes, but I held true to the inner voice.

"Do you need any help?" I asked. He answered in three simple but profound words that I shall never forget. We often look for wisdom in great accomplishments. I expect it from those of higher learning and accomplishments. I expected nothing but an outstretched grimy hand. He spoke three words that shook me, "Don't we all?" he said. I needed help. Maybe not for bus fare or a place to sleep, but I needed help. I reached in my wallet and gave him not only enough for bus fare but enough to get a warm meal and shelter for the day.

Fun & Info @

Those three little words still ring true. No matter how much you have, no matter how much you have accomplished, you need help too. No matter how little you have, no matter how loaded you are with problems, even without money or a place to sleep, you can give help. Even if it's just a compliment, you can give that!

You never know when you may see someone that appears to have it all. They are waiting on you to give them what they don't have. A different perspective on life, a glimpse of something beautiful, a respite from daily chaos, that only you, through a torn world can see.

Maybe the man was just a homeless stranger wandering the streets. Maybe he was more than that. Maybe he was sent by a power that is great and wise to minister to a soul too comfortable in himself. Maybe God looked down, called an Angel, dressed him like a bum and then said, "Go minister to that man cleaning the car, that man needs help."

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

The Harmful Neighbours

In a school east of America, there was a very reputated school. To enter the school, one need to have almost perfect mark, and the school fees can be compared to be as much to a living expense of a simple family for a whole month. However, the school had been facing a big trouble, beside the school were a group of mischievous harmful teenagers of the poor families. It was too often that they destroy the school facilities such as window glasses, students cars and they keep annoying the students when they are out of their school.

"Why our top well-known most reputated school has such an evil neighbour?", the school principal was very mad at a meeting among the commitee. "Drive them out of our land! It is easy! We shall purchase all of their land, and convert the land to our school garden with our annual budget."
The school garden was getting larger, but the situation got worse. The poors did move out, but they rebuild again their new homes near the garden. The security got looser than before due to the very spacious garden.

The school commitee had no more idea, they reported this condition to the police. "When we can't communicate with our neighbours, the best way is not by driving them out or create impenetrable wall upon ourselves. Instead, we should try to understand and communicate with them. Then we EDUCATE them," explained one of the officer.
All the teachers dropped to their silence, as teachers, as educators, they had forgotten their function and their ability to educate others.

In the end, the school established a tuition school for them with very affordable price. They invited the poors around them to visit and give them textbooks and educational books to them for free. The school garden was changed to a sportground, so that the students and the youngsters can get along better. In several years to come, the school had been completely free of any disturbance. And of course the poors have better brighter future lies ahead of them.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Everything Is Best

When Banzan was walking through market he overheard a conversation between a butcher and his customer.

"Give me the best piece of meat you have," said the customer. 

"Everything in my shop is the best", replied the butcher. "You cannot find here any piece of meat that is not the best~, 

At these words Banzan became enlightened.

Any moment is the best moment and any place, the best place. If only you perceive this whole-heartedly...

Sunday, December 4, 2011

Success story of India’s First Visually Impaired Chartered Accountant

Rajni Gopal is India’s first visually impaired woman to become a Chartered Accountant. Currently working with India’s leading software companies, it has taken Rajani immense grit, perseverance and patience to reach where she stands.

Rajani Gopal has come a long way after losing her eye sight. She treads on paths that make even sighted people think twice before taking up. Behind this chartered accountant, Veena player and social worker, lies a determined woman who has defied all logic when it comes to success.                                                                                              
Let’s talk to Rajani Gopal and find out more about her.

You work with a reputed IT company. Tell us about your job profile.

I work in the Finance Department. My profile is to work on Indian & U.S.A. Generally Accepted Accounting Practices.

Where were you working before your current assignment? How did you get this break?

I was working for Indian Group of Hotels as Community co-ordinator. I had sent my bio-data to the placement cell of I.C.A.I. and that is how I got this break.

How have you adjusted to your work environment and how have your colleagues responded.

It has been comfortable to adjust to work environment as I am quite versatile on computers. Moreover my work to a large extent is on those applications that extensively support screen reading software.

My colleagues respond very sensibly. There is no discrimination of any sort. Now they know when I need assistance and come forward to give the same. The work atmosphere is very comfortable and friendly.

Becoming a C.A. is a tough task even for sighted people. As a blind person what motivated you to take up this subject and how did you manage?

That is what many told me when I thought of taking up C.A. as a career. But let me tell you, determination and commitment can help you achieve those milestones which seem difficult otherwise.

I lost vision in my right eye by the time I completed my graduation. I faced few interviews where my candidature was not considered because of my vision problem. I realised that I should have a better education to get a decent and dignified job. At this juncture I came to know about Chartered Accountancy. By this time I had learnt to pursue my studies on my own. I thought if I can pursue B.Com on my own then why not C.A.?

Of course, pursuing the course was not easy. It would be difficult for me to read for long time. I had to read keeping the book close to my eyes. Commuting was also quite difficult. For a moment my spirits would be shattered. But I would realise that this is not the way to tackle a problem. I will have to find out ways and means of solving this. I would read for sometime and then close my eyes and try to recollect whatever I would have studied. This way I was not wasting my time and was also giving rest to my eyes, which I needed the most. As far as commuting was concerned, I would prefer to walk short distances, as catching the public transport was difficult. For long distances, invariably I would take the public transport. It was quite risky but I had to take the calculated risk.

After I lost vision in my left eye too, I had to look for means to continue my studies and clear my examinations. But the important hurdle was to accept that I am visually challenged. This did take some time as I would relate myself with my friends who either had a good job or were happily married. I realised that I should come out of this trauma. Sahaja Yoga meditation came to my rescue. The meditation gave the overall balance which I needed the most. I realised that I should accept the situation and go ahead, instead of brooding. I came to know about the screen reading software and learnt how to use computers. My urge to pursue the course was rekindled. I got all the materials converted to soft copy and started studying. For few subjects I took the assistance of volunteers. I also had to learn how to communicate with the scribe, as I was availing scribe facility for the first time.

What are the special assistive tools you use for help at work? Especially when tackling numbers.

As I have already mentioned, I extensively use computers with screen reading software. My assignment does not include going through any written documents. By using Excel and other M.S. Office applications, I am able to manage my job quite comfortably.

How did you develop your eye problem?

I was prescribed penicillin tablets for common cold. This was given without test dosage and resulted in an allergic reaction which in medical terminology is known as “Steven Johnson Syndrome”. My vision started deteriorating gradually. This was coupled with growth of eye lashes inside the eyes which would constantly itch. I had to visit the doctor almost twice a week to get the lashes plucked. But the damage to the cornea was done and doctors were helpless.

Tell us a bit about your school and college days.

Early school days were as any other normal child. After the allergy, things changed. Because of redness in the eyes, quite a few classmates would avoid me. I had to hear to lot of sympathies from relatives and friends. It would be very difficult to listen. I would try to be all alone by myself. I developed the habit of reading to overcome my loneliness. Initially I would cry and weep. As I grew up I didn’t feel like doing that, for I knew that my parents would be disturbed. I learnt to keep all my emotions to myself. I had very few friends.

At my college things were little different. I was matured enough to handle the situation. I did have friends who were sensible enough. In fact in the final year of my graduation, my friends would write the notes for me, get the books from library, for I couldn’t attend the college due to surgery on my right eye.

What kind of support did you get from family and friends?

There was complete support from my immediate family members. Neither my parents nor my brothers made me to feel at any point of time that I had vision problem. My parents would encourage me in all my ventures as they would encourage my brothers.Even after I lost my vision completely, they would behave as if nothing had happened and gave me all the emotional support.

Though I had very few friends, they were quite sensible and helped me whenever I needed them most. Moreover they would boost my confidence and behave as they would with other “normal” friends.

What are your interests and hobbies?

As already mentioned, I practice meditation-Sahaja Yoga. I enjoy cooking. I play chess. I have learnt to play Veena. I listen to lot of music. I volunteer my services to physically, visually and economically challenged students by providing assistance in their studies.

Tell us any interesting experience you’d like to share.

There have been quite a lot of experiences which have moulded my personality.

As my vision deteriorated gradually, I could see the helplessness of doctors and my parents. At such heart breaking moments, each mile stone in my education would motivate me to go further.

But if you want to know of any particular incident that changes the course of my life, I feel this is it.

Around the time when I lost vision in both my eyes, my father was diagnosed with Leukaemia. It was the prime age of my life and with all confusion I was totally lost and mentally upset. One evening when I just couldn‘t control my emotions, my brother recommended me meditation. He advised that I should do it with open mind and take as hypothesis. I could see within a week that my overall personality was in complete balance and I obtained the necessary confidence and inner strength which I needed the most and which any amount of external counselling wouldn’t have done.

Now I feel, everything that happened was with some purpose and has helped me become a better person move ahead in life with greater strength and confidence

Friday, December 2, 2011


The master Bankei's talks were attended not only by Zen students but by persons of all ranks and sects. He never quoted sutras nor indulged in scholastic dissertations. Instead, his words were spoken directly from his heart to the hearts of his listeners.

His large audiences angered a priest of the Nichiren sect because the adherents had left to hear about Zen. The self- centered Nichiren priest came to the temple, determined to debate with Bankei."Hey, Zen teacher!" he called out. "Wait a minute. Whoever respects you will obey what you say, but a man like myself does not respect you. Can you make me obey you?"

"Come up beside me and i will show you," said Bankei

Proudly the priest pushed his way through the crowd to the teacher.
Bankei smiled, " Come over to my left side"
The priest did so.
"No," said Bankei, "we may talk better if you are on the right side. Step over here."
The priest proudly stepped over to the right.
"You see," observed Bankei, "you are obeying me and i think you are a very gentle person. Now sit down and listen."