Time out with Ananda Beauty Beneath the Dust All the children were painting the flowers that Ananda had showed them when Kumar walked in, looking upset. Ananda waited for him to settle down before asking, 'Is something wrong? You are usually the first to be here, but today you are late.' Kumar did not answer and continued drawing patterns on the mud. 'I just don't believe in God, Ananda,' he suddenly burst out. 'Today, the priest in the temple brushed me and my brother aside when we were waiting for the prasad, saying that we were of a low caste and should stand separately.'
Ananda came closer and picked up a little girl's drawing, after asking her permission, which he sprinkled with sand. 'Look at this drawing now,' he said. 'It is soiled and we can no longer see the beautiful flowers. But that does not mean the flowers are not there or that they are not beautiful.'
Blowing away the sand, he continued, 'Fortunately, it is dry sand and not wet mud, so I can remove it easily. Just like that, we need to blow away some of the dirt in the practice of religion to see the beautiful God which all religions tell us about.'
After a pause, he gave a friendly pat to Kumar and asked, 'Will you try to do this?' Kumar nodded with a shy smile, his anger melting away at Ananda's wise words.
Action Station Dreaming of School It is April and most of you have just begun a new year in school. What would you like to see in your school in the coming year? Do share your thoughts with us and you will win a book.
The winner of the best letter to God (Action Station, December 2005) is Samyukta Rangachari. Congratulations, Samyukta. Here's hoping God answers each of your thought-provoking questions. You have won a book from Life Positive, which will be forwarded to you shortly.
Dear God, Please make everyone in my country educated. And make everyone respectful. Make our country leading. There should be no one fighting or doing anything bad. And God, show a sign that you are there in this world. And please make me a famous doctor and scientist. I should invent a cure for AIDS and cancer. God, can you tell me how you made plants, animals, humans. Why did you make humans most intelligent? And God, why did you do that tsunami where so many people died? How did you make the universe? It might have taken a hundred years. How did you make the plants and most important, the sun? Oh, God, I wish I were God too. I would have got an answer to all my questions. And most important, why did you make the world? Why don't you do something so that people don't be so bad? Today, can you take the form of somebody and be with me? I should be talking to you a lot. Can you give me some powers so that I can make the world good?
And God, what is your real name? I really want to know. It cannot be God. So, what is it? Why did you make people blind? But I know whatever you have done is for their own good. Help the people who are poor so that they can study a lot and get facilities to go to camps, etc. I know I am asking you too many questions. But please reply and answer every single one of my questions. I don't need to tell you where I stay because you should know. Can you write to me without knowing the address? OK, now that's enough.
Love, Your daughter Samyukta
Did you know? Geese fly in a 'V' formation so that as each bird flaps its wings, it creates an uplift for the bird immediately following. When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose takes over. Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed. And, when a goose gets sick or is wounded, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to help and protect it and stay with it until it is able to fly.
If we were all to work with this amazing spirit of teamwork, just imagine how much we could achieve.
A Story to Smile About Crawly's Dilemma 'CRUNCH! CRRRRRRUNCH!' Poor Crawly shut his eyes and ears with all his feet. He just didn't like the noise. Every single caterpillar was in a frenzy to eat every single leaf in sight; with a million teeth gnawing away in unison, it was a very noisy bush indeed.
Crawly was not an ordinary caterpillar. Everyone agreed that he had potential. That he would be a Monarch one day, was an indisputable fact. But a future like that needed planning. And who could think amidst this noise?
As days passed and the caterpillars grew bigger, the noise grew louder. Crawly's thinking capacity had reached ground zero. He had forgotten whatever his teachers had taught him. All those lectures on 'How to turn from green to black and orange' had disappeared with the last leaf.
He had begun to worry too. 'Mommy and Daddy will be here in a few weeks for the graduation ceremony. The coronation has been planned for right after that. How can there be a coronation without a Monarch?' Poor Crawly Caterpillar had butterflies in his tummy and could hardly sleep.
He decided to move bushes. But the next bush was too far away. Besides, it might be overpopulated too. He could throw a tantrum and demand silence, but then he couldn't expect respect from the masses.
And just when things had reached a point when Crawly decided to give up all rights to the throne, a gentle breeze came coolly by. 'Say Crawly, you can't give up now. You have miles to go, great heights to climb, there's a future out there for you, kid!' Crawly shook his head sadly, ' I can't see all that, Mr. Breeze. I can't think so much into the future. Worse, I have forgotten how to turn into a butterfly! This noise around me is driving me crazy!'
Breeze was one cool character. Nothing flapped him. 'So why don't you shut the noise out, Crawly? Build yourself a little cocoon. In the quiet you will recall all that has been taught.'
Crawly took the breeze's advice. Without much ado he spun himself a beautiful silk cocoon. Inside, in the quiet and the serenity of being just with himself, true to the breeze's words, he began to recall.
The weeks passed. The bush was a hub of activity. Mommy, Daddy, his friends and his teachers were all there waiting in anticipation. All eyes were on Crawly's pupa. Suddenly, in one smooth movement, he emerged. Black and orange, wearing the royal colors. He sat quietly, flapping his wings to dry them. He had miles to go, heights to climb, a kingdom to visit. A hush descended on the gathering as they looked upon their Monarch. Archana Sawnal (Courtesy: The Chitrapur Sunbeam.)
Mind Blowers What's that you're saying? Can you guess what these sentences are saying (say them aloud and hear what they sound like) a. My crows off wind dose eggs pea b. Lie fizz lye cab ox soft chalk clicks c. Jest fall oath a yell lobe Rick crowed d. Luck beef four Yule heap e. Wharf rough dud whorls Answers: a. Microsoft Windows XP b. Life is like a box of chocolates c. Just follow the yellow brick road d. Look before you leap e. War of the Worlds
Laugh out Loud A priest is walking down the street one day when he notices a small boy trying to reach a doorbell, which is just out of his reach, on a house across the street.
After watching the boy's efforts for some time, the priest steps smartly across the street, walks up to the little fellow and, placing his hand kindly on his shoulder, leans over and rings the doorbell.
Crouching down to the child's level, the priest smiles benevolently and asks, 'And now what, my little man?' The boy turns and yells, 'Now we run.'
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