Archive for April, 2011

10 questions my daughter asked me …??

April 19, 2011 12 comments

(These questions were put to me by my daughter Soumya who is 8+ years old and is in Pri-3. I have kept her words intact )

  1.  How was the first person on earth created?
  2. How did he/she find another person to marry?
  3. Who was first, male or female?
  4. If they reproduced and reproduced, we must have developed.  Does that mean that we are all related?
  5. If we are all related, how did we split into so many families?
  6. Some scientists say that we developed from apes but where did the apes come from?
  7. After the first man and lady reproduced, how did their son/daughter find another person to marry?
  8. What if there was no first person on earth and we didn’t come from apes, how were we created?
  9. Did we develop from micro-organisms or bacteria?
  10.  How did they make language?
Categories: General Tags: ,

Spoil the rod and spare the child

April 18, 2011 9 comments

Those sparkling eyes,| that charming smile
That look full of love
You cast a spell on everyone
Innocence – you are a child

When you are angry at your child or still worse spank them – have you ever looked into their eyes?
I have seen the look in my child’s eyes when I was angry – and I have decided never to use the cane on my child.

Corporal punishment on a child can dent his/her self-esteem and confidence. Caning can create resentment and rebellion in a child. It can terrify a child. A child who grows up seeing violence at home and also being subject to caning grows up with the notion that it is acceptable for the strong to use force against the weak. Such children when they grow up have higher likelihood of becoming aggressive towards their siblings, their classmates and their own children.

Children learn most of their behaviours through imitation of their parents.  Parents are their role model – an example of what is right and good.  They look for love and attention to their parents.

More often than not we hit our children when we are in a bad mood and not because they have done anything wrong.  Anger is nothing but blocked desire.  In such an angry mood, when your child comes and asks you an innocent question – we vent our anger on the kids.

Then how do we discipline our child:

Firstly, we have to set ground rules- they have to understand what is acceptable and unacceptable behaviour

Secondly,  it is very important to communicate regularly with your child.  They have to understand why they are not allowed to do certain things.  As they grow older they develop assertiveness.  This is a good sign and should not be only viewed as disobedience.

Some parents ask for blind acceptance from children.  This does not nurture confidence and sets a poor example.A child who is always being ordered about is not going to develop the confidence  to think and reason for themselves at school and at home.

Next, we have to lead by example – You cant tell your child to stop watching TV while you are happily sitting in front of the idiot box all day.

Use positive language  – Instead of saying – Dont do that or stop doing that – we could use positive language like : I need you to  or I expect you to

Focus on the behaviour not the child.  Children should understand that they are being punished for their behaviour and not because you don’t like them

Dont take away their dignity – Show respect for the child.  Make sure you address the problem behaviour rather than attacking the character of the child

Let us not destroy that innocent spark that budding creativity.  Let us create an environment for our children by which they will develop into confident, creative and well-rounded personalities able to contribute to society.

Sungei Buloh wetlands

April 17, 2011 4 comments

Sungei Buloh wetland reserve is home to mangrove swamps and wetland wildlife. In 1989, this reserve was designated as a nature park. It was also recognised as a heritage park and marked for conservation.  Here are some shots captured by me  during a trip to the reserve.

Happy Vishu

April 14, 2011 6 comments

Happy Vishu. Here is an image of our Vishukanni this morning.
Vishu is a new year festival celebrated in Kerala. “Vishu” in Sanskrit means “equal”. Therefore Vishu is more probably denoting one of the equinox days.

The most important event in Vishu is the Vishukkani, which literally ” the first thing to be seen on the Vishu day post waking up”. The Vishukkani consist of a ritual arrangement of auspicious articles like raw rice, fresh lemon, golden cucumber, betel leaves, arecanut, metal mirror, the yellow flowers konna, and a holy text and coins, in a bell metal vessel called uruli in the puja room of the House. A lighted bell metal lamp called nilavilakku is also placed alongside. This arrangement is completed the previous night. On the day of Vishu, the custom is to wake up at dawn and go to the puja room room with the eyes closed so that the Vishukkani is the first sight of the new season.

“Vishu” is celebrated with much fanfare and vigour in all parts of Kerala. Bursting crackers is part and parcel of the celebration especially for children. People wear new clothes (Puthukodi) for the occasion and elders of the family distribute tokens of money, called Vishukkaineetam, to children, servants and tenants.
Vishu is also a day of feasting, wherein the edibles consist of roughly equal proportions of salty, sweet, sour and bitter items.

(Source: Wikipedia)

Categories: General Tags: , , ,

The bugle sounds for you

April 14, 2011 33 comments

As the sun sets
He is laid to rest
The bugle sounds and guns fire
A nation pays tribute to a soldier

He fought with honour and without fear
To protect our country from foes
He stood guarding our borders
As seasons changed around him

Far away from his home
Leaving wife and son alone
A soldier fought a war
So that we are at peace

Braving bullets and bombs
Without food and sleep
He is alert all day
Keeping enemies at bay

The earth upon which we tread
He worshipped till he was dead
Fighting hard for our freedom
What a noble patriot he was

Then one day he fell down fighting
A bullet tore through his chest
With a cry for freedom on his lips
He lay down his life for us

A tearful wife and son
Are joined by a whole nation
We salute the brave soldier
And his noble sacrifice



© copyright skm, April 14th, 2011

Categories: Poetry Tags: , , , ,

What does Success mean to you?

April 10, 2011 8 comments

Oxford Dictionary defines Success as:
i) the attainment of fame, wealth, or social status  or
ii)the accomplishment of an aim or purpose

We are everyday fed with images  of successful people – celebrities,  royalty, millionaires, sportsmen, technopreneurs etc by media and newspapers and our notions of success are largely influenced by these media.  We have always equated success with economic freedom, career and money.  We cannot forget that such a definition of success creates also a very bad image of one who is not successful as a ‘loser in life’.

We  create icons of celebrities and sportsmen and we expect them to be ‘’ideal’’.  But, we later come to realise that they have their own set of problems.  Our parents, teachers and role-models shape our ideas of success from very early in life.  So some concepts are driven in our minds from young.  It is important to unlearn these ideas and break out from these moulds if we are to be successful.

We forget that it is impossible to be successful at everything in life.   A person who is highly successful in his career gets to spend very little time with family  Do we enjoy what we do in life?   Are we contented with our achievements ?  Are we happy and can we share this happiness with our family, friends and society?  These are some questions that also define how successful we are.

It is not wrong to be ambitious and to create wealth.  But when greed takes over and we try to be successful by any means then success can also corrupt.  Billionaires like Bill Gates and Warren Gates have pledged more than 50% of their wealth to charity and this has spurred billionaires  in many parts of the world to do the same.   Social responsibility has become a key component of a successful business practice.

What makes you most happy and feeds your soul? By pursuing  goals that align with our values and  nature and not living on borrowed goals,  by giving our best shot and sharing our joys with family , friends and society we can become more happy and contented.  One mans  idea of success may differ from that of another.  What does Success mean to you?

Here is an interesting TED talk by Älan de Botton on a kinder, gentler philosophy of success:

Categories: General Tags: , , , ,


April 7, 2011 12 comments

Famished, tired and hungry
In a corner of the rail station
Puffy, pale eyes
Look askance at passengers

Bruised, aching feet that cannot stand
An outstretched,  pleading hand
One meal  is all we pray for
To see us through the day

Just a coin will suffice
A piece of bread, a morsel of rice
Scavenging bins for food
Crying in anger

The office crowd in suits and ties
Look at us in disdain
They rush to get a shoe shine
Before boarding the train

The sun has set
Our tears have dried
Lying down on a rug we sleep
Hoping for dreams  of a new morn

© copyright skm, April 7th, 2011

(A post in support of Akshayapatra Foundation ..Now Feeding 1,291,064 Children Everyday! – helping underprivileged children by providing them with a healthy, balanced meal that they would otherwise have to work for. The meal is an incentive for them to continue their education.  For details visit  Please make your donation at

Life is…

April 5, 2011 12 comments

Sometimes I wonder , Is life…

A riddle?
and ponder on the purpose
of our existence

A journey?
all taking different paths
that lead to the same destination

A dream?
of fear, of success, of bliss
Until I wake up and it is over

A game?
played with team-spirit
sometimes we win, sometimes we lose

A drama?
We are actors in the unfolding scene
Playing our parts until the curtains fall

That sounds divine when played in harmony
To our inner voice

words that eulogise
the wonders  of nature that never cease

A thought?
that takes birth as a seed in the mind
and manifests as reality

A wave?
We will be tossed about unless
we learn to ride the ebb and flow

This moment?
in time which will fleet  by
Unless we are immersed  in it


© copyright skm,  April 5th, 2011

Categories: Poetry Tags: , , , , ,

India win Cricket World Cup 2011 – after 28 years

April 2, 2011 2 comments

A  glorious new chapter has been scripted in cricketing history when India lifted the World Cup 2011 today.  All the team members wanted to dedicate the cup to Sachin Tendulkar.

SriLanka opted to bat first after winning the toss.  The highlight of the SriLanka innings was a brilliant 103 not out by Mahela Jayawardene.  SriLanka put up a total of 274/6.  The match was nerve-wrecking with many exciting moments.

A brilliant and gusty 97 from Gautam Gambhir, Kohli’s 35 and a captains innings from MS Dhoni (91 not out)were the highlight of the Indian innings after the openers Sehwag and Tendulkar were out to Malingas bowling.  Victory was sealed  by 6 wickets with 10 balls to spare.  Dhoni who had promoted himself up the order hit 2 consecutive boundaries off the bowling of Lasith Malinga when 15 runs were needed from 17 deliveries.

The tense crowd at the Wankhede stadium erupted in wild celebrations as Dhoni hit the winning six runs of Kulasekaras bowling  to give India their biggest cricketing moment.

This victory will long be remembered as it is after 28 long years that India has been able to achieve this feat!   The team mates lifted Sachin  as celebrations began.  It was also a fitting farewell to coach Gary Kirsten.

(Picture courtesy: NDTV, Zeenews)

Categories: Cricket Tags: , , , ,

Cricket World Cup – India, Sri Lanka eye second title!

All roads lead to Wankhede today for the cricket world cup finale!  Who will win the cup this year? Will it be India or Sri Lanka? This is India’s best chance to win the world cup! Muralitharan and Nehra are unlikely to play today.  A keen contest is on the cards and hoping that the Indian team puts up a good show today!

With favourites India looking to win the trophy for the first time since 1983, newspapers summed up the mood of expectation, with many focusing on whether local hero Sachin Tendulkar could secure a victory on his home ground.

(Source: Hindustan

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