Tuesday, September 30, 2008

The Old And The Young

by Ayesha Parveen 27 Sep 2008
Category: Lifestyle.

This story has been read 4283 times.

Differences between the older and the younger generations are inevitable to a certain extent because each has its own set of challenges and experiences. However, it is often seen that these differences snowball into disregard for one another and can sometimes, unfortunately, create hostility within a family.

The younger ones bring in new ideas and the old, generally wary of change, are not receptive to a new way of life. As people age, all the more so if they get scarred by the numerous experiences they have had, they tend to lose their confidence to try out something new, as well as the courage to move beyond their comfort-zone. This might be the reason why in India, some parents and parents-in-law still do not approve of women earning or of men doing house-hold work.

The members of the older generation often complain that those of the younger generation are hasty and love to experiment with life, heedless of the consequences. This is true in some cases when young people have ruined their lives due to reckless or irresponsible behaviour. But, on the other hand, progress is possible only because some people do experiment with life and dare to usher in changes. The difference between disaster and success is in the purpose of application of that daring confidence and not in the age of the doers.

So, what can be the solution? Since both the old and the young live in the same family, trying to understand one another and making allowances for each other’s idiosyncrasies can work wonders. However, more important than that, is, in my opinion, the young realizing that they too will age some day, as well as for the old to remember their own fault-filled younger days. The young are here because the old raised them; the older generation’s success lies in making the young able to shoulder the responsibilities of life.

From the old, the young can learn universal values like integrity, patience and forgiveness which together often form the corner-stone off success in a person’s life.Other than passing down these moral values, the older generation can also provide practical help. Often we see children are engrossed in games in ‘play-stations’ which encourage violence and dishonesty. If parents or grandparents are there to give company to these children, the little ones get a chance to talk, ask questions and perhaps, also find it easier to know the difference between right and wrong.

From the young, the old can learn to welcome positive change. Often I have heard aging parents tell their children that they are happy to see the latter enjoy better quality of life and live in a more progressive society than they could themselves. By accepting change, the old also clear their own minds of out-dated customs, thwarting social-conditionings and dysfunctional norms.

Life can be said to be an ever-evolving, dynamic phenomenon. In this multi-faceted experience called life, the old and the young should reach out to one another; the old, to pass over the mantle, and the young, to accept it in able hands in order to make a better world, a new world.

As Alfred Tennyson has said in his poem, “The Passing of Arthur”:
“The old order changeth, yielding place to new,
And God fulfils Himself in many ways,
Lest one good custom should corrupt the world.”


Monday, September 22, 2008

You Decide Your Destiny

- by Ayesha Parveen 20 Sep 2008
This story has been read 2676 times.
Often in life, we wonder if we are getting what we deserve. So much of what happens to us, seems to be out of our control and more often than not, we call life unfair. However, if we can find some time to think over the matter, we can understand that things happen for a reason and the universal pattern of deeds and their consequences weave our destiny. Thus, each one of us has an active role in shaping our fate.

Great people like Lincoln and Gandhi had to face insurmountable difficulties but that did not deter them from listening to the voice of conscience within them. True, both were assassinated (and who does not die, finally?) but their names and dates associated with them have found permanent places in the annals of history. Lincoln did not let his humble birth stop him from becoming the President of the U.S.A.; neither did racism and being thrown out of a train make a coward of Gandhi or stop him from leading India’s freedom movement. Florence Nightingale, ‘the lady with the lamp’, had to deal with many obstacles like hostile male-dominated social norms, legal hassles as well as parental disapproval. This was only because she had firmly decided to look after the wounded soldiers, during the Crimean War. With her determined effort, she managed to do so and in the process, established nursing as a recognized profession for women.

The classic example of evil deeds bringing about an evil destiny, is, in my opinion, that of Hitler. Having ordered the death of millions, he had to finally kill himself. Have you ever heard anyone naming his son ‘Hitler’? Only a cruel, dictatorial person is often given that as a hated nickname.

Any success of lasting-value is possible for a person only if he is willing to listen to his conscience and if he has faith in himself. Along with this, he needs to be a die-hard optimist and believe that good things do happen in life. The third most important quality of success is gratitude. A person who is grateful to his benefactors and to those who have been there for him, often receives even more helping hands. Hard work or consistent effort is yet another factor affecting our destiny. No successful business-person is automatically destined to be so; his hard-work brings him wealth. For success in any field, courage, in the face of opposition, is often vital.

Perhaps, the most important factor determining our destiny is having or lacking compassion in our hearts. If we reach out to our fellow-creatures when they need our love and support, we can expect to be paid in kind when we need it. What we call ‘personal-miracles’, are often very subtle-additions of consequences of deeds done, seen or unseen by the world.

True, we are all not born with equal socio-economic gifts or handicaps. Not all have equally loving parents and spouses or even true friends. However, what we make of these advantages and disadvantages, determines our destiny.

The artist may not always be able to buy a grand-sized canvas-board, but he can always choose to paint his small board in the most beautiful of colours. The result, in that case, is infinitely rewarding for him as well as for those who see his painting. You are the artist of your life and the picture you choose to paint, is your destiny.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

A Time For Oneself

-by Ayesha Parveen 13 Sep 2008 Category: Lifestyle
This story has been read 71 times.
After the hassles of a day spent
In struggles of all sorts,
We crave peace;
Where is peace to be found?

Pleasing the people around us,
Doing things not akin to our nature,
We want to be content;
How is contentment to be found?

False smiles, false words, false friends, false lovers;
We know it all and yet tolerate,
Expecting to be loved.
Why is love to be found?

Deep within us is a place we dare not visit now;
A place full of peace, contentment and love;
A land of liberty and of joy:
The wise call it freedom of conscience.

If we are brave enough to reach that land,
The shackles all break free;
We can touch the sunrise and smile like children,
Daring to love and trust again.

Leaving behind the pain and hurt,
Discarding all that we know is sham,
We need to move on with faith and hope,
For now is the time, a time for oneself.
Email: ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Never-ending Experience

- by Ayesha Parveen 13 Sep 2008
Category: Lifestyle.
This story has been read 64 times.
Anjali’s little world revolved around Madhav. A quiet girl, she waited for the weekend to come, as on Saturdays and Sundays she would go for painting lessons and Madhav would be there, in the Art-school.

From the outside, the two were exact opposites. Anjali was dark-complexioned with long, thick, wavy black hair and dark eyes; Madhav had light-skin, crew-cut dark brown hair and eyes which Anjali described as ‘honey-brown’.

Madhav, a natural extrovert, would talk to Anjali whenever he saw her there. She happily responded, but would always feel shy to start a conversation with him. This, however, did not stop her from praising him to her other friends. Even at home, Madhav’s name prevailed on Anjali’s lips and her mother was pleasantly surprised to see her daughter’s personality blossom with an inner glow.

For Anjali, Madhav’s words were the source of all inspiration. When he admired one of her paintings very much, she felt a real sense of achievement, regardless of what the teacher thought about the work. If at home, her parents appreciated her cooking or her getting good grades in school, she felt her joy was incomplete as Madhav could not be a part of it. Her friends laughed at her when one day she told them that while singing devotional songs, in her mind, she would often see Madhav’s face.

Life invariably changes.

One day Anjali had to go out of town for two weeks to attend a cousin’s wedding. When she returned, Madhav had gone. Her friends informed Anjali that Madhav’s father had been transferred to another city as he got promoted in his job and the family had to move in a hurry. Apparently, before leaving, Madhav had tried to contact Anjali. Heart-broken, she tried his email address but the mails she sent him kept bouncing back.

Over the months, Anjali reconciled herself with her loss, but the ache remained, all the more so, because she had not told Madhav she loved him.

As the months turned to years, the acute pain of losing Madhav was gradually transformed into a quiet, almost serene acceptance. She felt grateful for having got the chance to know Madhav and knew no matter what, Madhav would always be with her, somewhere deep within her soul. No circumstance could snatch him away from her any more.

Above the body is the mind; above the mind is the soul. When love comes from the level of the soul, it is a never-ending experience.


( This post has been written for Manoj. Wherever he is, may God keep him happy and may he be successful in life. )

Monday, September 8, 2008

Radhika, The Little Girl


Radhika, The Little Girl
- by Ayesha Parveen 06 Sep 2008
This story has been read 1767 times.

Manoj was thinking about his wife as he walked down Park Street. Even after ten years of marriage, the couple remained childless. Though the marriage was stable and a happy one, Manoj knew his wife agonized over the fact that she had not been able to conceive. Endless visits to doctors had not helped and he had almost given up hoping; but had never expressed it to his wife.

“Sir, will you please help me?” a soft voice was heard and Manoj saw a girl, about eight years old, looking at him. “There’s a kitten fallen in the gutter and I cannot reach it. Will you please pick it up? It will die otherwise; please, Sir!” Her pleading brown eyes were filled with tears and Manoj was pleasantly surprised to see that she cared for the helpless animal. In a country where sometimes starving people are beaten to death if caught stealing, here was a person with compassion in her heart.

Not wasting time, he bent down to reach the frightened kitten and could hear its faint, piteous mew. However, he could not reach it; the little thing was just a few inches away from his fingers but that small distance could mean death for it. Manoj, now was on his knees, and not caring about the stares he was getting from passers-by, stretched his hand once more towards the kitten, asking God for help.

His fingers finally grasped something soft and wet and as he brought the trembling kitten out of the gutter, he could hear the little girl’s cry of joy: “thank you Sir, thank you so much.” Wrapping the kitten with his handkerchief, he handed it to the girl. It seemed like it would live. Now the girl looked at him with troubled eyes and did not utter a word. Manoj asked her what the problem was to which she replied that she could not take the kitten home as her father did not allow her to keep pets.

Wondering how a parent could be so uncaring towards his child, Manoj was at a loss for words when the girl spoke again. “Will you please keep it, Sir? You are kind and it will be happy with you”, she softly put in. When he agreed, she requested him to call the kitten ‘Muskaan’. He wanted to walk the girl home but she said there was no need to do so. When asked, she said her name was Radhika.

Manoj took Muskaan home and his wife wiped away the filth from it and gave it milk. Thus, Muskaan became the lonely woman’s companion when Manoj would go to work.

Exactly three months after Manoj had saved Muskaan and made Radhika happy, he received an important call from his wife. As he entered his office, his wife called to say she had conceived…………….

Now, as Manoj plays with his two-year old son Govind or rocks his six-month old daughter Sharannya to sleep, he wonders who Radhika was. Muskaan often comes and sits on Manoj’s lap when Govind and Sharannya are not occupying it.

email: ayeshacgs@hotmail.com

( This post is dedicated to my dear Appa as a token of appreciation of the affection and encouragement he keeps on showering on me.)