Thursday, October 16, 2014

Diwali Celebrations (Different appoach)

You must be thinking that I m going to discuss about the festivities going on and which would go on for about another one month. Well I am for sure going to discuss about Diwali festivities but with a different approach to it.

1) New clothes to all the maids and extra money(than what they asked for) for their Diwali cleaning. :)

2) No Crackers - only 1 box either of Anar, Phuljhadi or Chakri or a box which has a mix of all crackers so that Kaanha (my son) understands what are the different types of crackers.

3) Only homemade snacks for everyone who visits our place ! :)

4) Using castor oil in the Diyas because it's smoke helps in eliminating insects and thus purifies the environment. And since it's density is high, it keeps the wick glowing bright for long.

5) I, my husband and my son are going to go for a long drive on the morning afternoon or evening of Diwali. We will have food packets with us and we would keep distributing it where-ever we feel people need food, because if someone sleeps hungry on the eve of Diwali would our Diwali celebrations be Celebrations in real sense?
If you are interested you may join in or do it in your own way :))

This is to help my son know that Diwali means celebration which means spreading smiles 
and that means sharing happiness with everyone irrespective of the fact whether you know them or not!!!
What are you teaching your kids this Deepawali?

Happy Diwali!

Saturday, January 18, 2014

A story that touches my heart everytime I remember it..

English classes have always been interesting for me..

I remember when I was in 3rd standard, my Maa told me..its always good to read your textbooks well in advance ..use them as an interesting reading material (and read it really well) in your summer vacations and then you would truly enjoy the classes taken during the entire year..
I took this advice a bit too seriously and since then I read all my textbooks in advance.. n it was then I started liking 2 subjects - English and History

And then slowly I moved to Novels.. initially there were Panchtatra, Vikram aur Betaal and Jatak Khathayein, Selected short stories gifted to me by my Father..
and then there were quite a few of Betty Neels, Charlotte Lamb, Robin Cook, Sidney Sheldon, Richard Branson's autobiography..a bit of Daniel Steel a bit of Robin Sharma n Chetan Bhagat
although the one I really adored and even loathed for its length was just one - The Mayor of Castorbridge :) huhh..can remember only these few as of now

The stories especially short ones really intrigued me from the very beginning..
Today Just like that sitting with my laptop I am reminded about the superb short story from the amazing writer Guy De Maupassant.. - The Diamond Necklace..

Its the story of a middle class female whose husband gets invited for a lavish Ball party..
This lady throws a fit saying she doesn't have anything to wear.. and then her husband obligingly gives her a more than decent amount to buy a new dress..

then this lady again throws a fit stating she doesn't have jewels.. to which her husband suggests that she can go to a rich friend of hers and borrow something from her.. which she promptly does..

She goes to the Ball wearing a beautiful Gown and wearing a beautiful Diamond Necklace..
she enjoys the party to the fullest and on the way back home realises that the Diamond Necklace is gone..

she spends quite some time in searching for it but in vain..ultimately she and her husband go from one jewellery store to the other to finally find an exactly same necklace worth 36,ooo Francs. Buying this necklace substitutes this couple into 10 years of poverty and once the debt is paid after 10 years.. Mathilde (the heroine of the story) also referred to as Madame Loisel..
The scene after that cannot be put in my own words its best described here

Courtesy -
Madame Loisel came to know the ghastly life of abject poverty. From the very first she played her part heroically. This fearful debt must be paid off. She would pay it. The servant was dismissed. They changed their flat; they took a garret under the roof.
     She came to know the heavy work of the house, the hateful duties of the kitchen. She washed the plates, wearing out her pink nails on the coarse pottery and the bottoms of pans. She washed the dirty linen, the shirts and dish-cloths, and hung them out to dry on a string; every morning she took the dustbin down into the street and carried up the water, stopping on each landing to get her breath. And, clad like a poor woman, she went to the fruiterer, to the grocer, to the butcher, a basket on her arm, haggling, insulted, fighting for every wretched halfpenny of her money.
     Every month notes had to be paid off, others renewed, time gained.
     Her husband worked in the evenings at putting straight a merchant's accounts, and often at night he did copying at twopence-halfpenny a page.
     And this life lasted ten years.
     At the end of ten years everything was paid off, everything, the usurer's charges and the accumulation of superimposed interest.
     Madame Loisel looked old now. She had become like all the other strong, hard, coarse women of poor households. Her hair was badly done, her skirts were awry, her hands were red. She spoke in a shrill voice, and the water slopped all over the floor when she scrubbed it. But sometimes, when her husband was at the office, she sat down by the window and thought of that evening long ago, of the ball at which she had been so beautiful and so much admired.
Now I shall again rephrase the story in my own words..
After 10 years when Mathilde had gone out for a walk and saw her friend Madame Forestier (from whom she had borrowed the necklace) taking out her child for walk.. Mathilde greeted her friend and her friend to her disappointment did not recognise her..
And this is what she said "Oh! . . . my poor Mathilde, how you have changed! . . ."
And then Mathilde narrated her the entire scene and how they struggled for the last 10 years to pay the debt taken to buy the necklace that she had lost that day..!
The line that leaves me very very emotional is the last line of the story..
On hearing all of this Madame Fortestier took Mathilde's hands in hers and said..
"Oh, my poor Mathilde! But mine was imitation. It was worth at the very most five hundred francs! . . . "
After this the story ends..
But whenever I remember this story, I remember the moral of the story.. Don't go mad after something that is not within your limit (to be specific in your budget)... If you can't afford it leave it.. try being able to buy it but never borrow something and show it off..
What if Mathilde had avoided going to the ball all-together? Her life would have continued in the same way.. missing 1-2 balls wouldn't make much of a difference to someone's life..
but attending one ball in the perfect way cost her life 10 years..10 years of happiness, 10 years of struggle everyday, 10 years of loosing the precious moments that she could have enjoyed with her family.. 10 years of everything...
This has been my most inspiring and touching story till date..Do you have such a story in your life which moves you so much..