The wounded recognized the wounded!

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Living in the city can be so different than from the remote villages, one can never imagine.

There is no electricity in the house at night, oil lamps made of brass is used and nature at such times is so quiet and dark that one can only be speechless. The cricket noise and sometimes you will hear the noise in the grass which could be of a snake who is finding its way to you.

All that is scary and adventurous especially when you are visiting during school vacation.

“A vacation is having nothing to do and all day to do it in” ~ Robert Orben

The little girl Asha, who is only 5-6 years old is scared of all these creatures be it snake, insects because some of these ones she has never seen in the city and the variety of spiders you get to see in the rain-forest areas, and their names are more or less the knowledge that she takes from here to her school to share with her friends.

Life in the middle of greenery can be happy until one morning she saw some rashes on her hand. It looked like a rash on the skin which if broken can spill the water and be infectious. She ran to show this to her mom.

Asha: Mom, look …look what happened here? Its red and I feel like itching, but I am scared.

Mom looks at it and talks to her sister (Aunt) Leena.

When Aunt Leena looks at it her immediate reaction –  oh this is spider poison. This is easy to cure once we show her to the village spider physician who practices Ayurveda medicine.

Mom is not much impressed as she doesn’t know if that will help Asha.

However, they plan to take her to the spider related issues treating physician.

Asha along with Aunt Leena goes to see the Ayurveda physician.

The physician of course was an elderly person with grey hair, unshaven slight gray beard with aged grayish eyes, skinny staring at Asha. Asha got scared at first and she hesitated to be in front of him, so she stayed behind her Aunt Leena.

Aunt Leena gave the details and pulled Asha with her hand to show the rashes.

The physician holds the hand and checks with holding his glasses and says yes this is spider bite and I can give her some medicine for which she needs to take shower and come in a towel. This seemed like Ayurveda with some magic.

Asha was scared and whispered to her aunt, ‘you also come I am scared to go alone’!

Aunt Leena said, ‘you should be fine he is going to treat you and give medicine’.

Now, Asha goes to this place where it’s all covered with coconut leaves as a shed and she goes in there with a towel wrapped and finds this physician is waiting for her.

Asha as always cautious and nervous in front of strangers, sat there as the physician asked her to do so. He started chanting some mantras and as he was chanting his hands were touching Asha on her head, shoulder and then her stomach and below when Asha got uncomfortable and started crying to raise her voice enough to be heard, because at this time she feels she is all alone.

The physician gives a stern look at Asha with his grey eyes and splashes some water and then lets her go.

“One believes things because one has been conditioned to believe them” ~ Aldous Huxley

Asha is all scared and comes home with her aunt Leena and the moment she gets in the house she runs to her mom and holds her and starts crying.

Asha’s mom asks what happened, what did the physician say?

By now Asha stops crying and tells everything in detail that happened to her.

Asha’s mom gets furious, and she goes out of the room scolding her elder sister Leena,

“Is this how they treat here? I thought he is a respectable man in the community and this is how he treats small kids?”

Aunt Leena when she heard the story, got so angry that she straight went to the physician immediately without thinking for a second time and broke that treatment shed and called off his son to stop this business. She yelled at them saying, “I will let everyone know in this village what you do and how you treat people”.

By saying that she broke the shed and walked out of the place.

That was the day and the spider treating physician’s business was never seen or heard ever. After that incident his shop was closed forever. Asha felt that spider is less scary than the physician. She still can see his face and that picture of the shed where she was sitting and the physician sitting in front of her staring in to her eyes.

“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul.” ~ Dave Pelzer

We always respect people who are elderly and hence people wouldn’t talk openly about such molestation and abuse that might be still happening around the world. It’s still a taboo and many places it’s the elderly age that inhibits to expose them because they fear what other might say or think about them.

“She is still a prisoner of her childhood; attempting to create a new life, she re encounters the trauma” ~ Judith Lewis Herman

We should be able to share things with our near and dear ones otherwise there is no use of calling loved ones anymore.

If loved ones are the one who are taking these kids, then they need to be extra careful no matter how well you know the person.

Protect your kids from these vicious animals because this puts a life-long impact in the minds of these children who are molested, the spider bite can always be cured but the mental trauma is something that keeps haunting.

“If the sound of happy children is grating on your ears, I don’t think it’s the children who need to be adjusted.” ~ Stefan Molyneux

~ Dawn

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Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that…!!!

Today I marched in support of the student’s movement ‘Our lives matter’, ‘March for Our Lives’, protest against guns and gun violence.It’s funny that when I was growing up, I never had to get into any such activity. What I love about my childhood is that there might be great matters that adults involved in bringing their voice together but as a child in school I never had to protest or do a march against anything and I take that as a blessing for my life in those days.
Imagine today’s kids are not only stressed about getting good grades or understand a particular problem or concept for exam but also worry about their existence … being alive.

It’s a shame on us!!! We enjoyed our childhood and didn’t make sure that it continues the same or better for our next and many future generations to enjoy that childhood in peace. I have marched for many such protests in this country and each time it was for an equality cause. Sometimes it was due to the inequality, for LGBTQA, for Women and now for Children – it breaks my heart. I was marching along and on and off my eyes fill with tears because whenever I think or see a child I go back to my days and its such a pleasure to be there that I have often said to myself – “wish I could go back and pause that moment”.

“Peace cannot be kept by force, it can only be achieved by understanding.” ~ Martin Luther King Jr. 

It’s sad when I see kids marching for their lives.
Many motivational speeches were made by students, teachers, and representatives and then someone gave a speech calling out the President of America as the “orange guy”. It put me off there and then itself.
What are we talking about? Peace? Equality? When are we going to learn to respect one another? When? You talk about change and equality and peace but at the same time you put a racist remark and there goes your equality, change and peace.

“An eye for an eye will make the whole world blind”

People take anger and courage as one, people were marching against gun laws and the anger is towards the current administration but I don’t think one can solve anything with anger.
It was amazing how the crowd out there was all about peace and for the children when two students came to me and said can we ask a question and I said sure!

“Do you think there should be cops in schools for protection”?, my answer straight came from my heart as ‘No’!
Because school should not need protection. Schools need more facility and support for education. You need more teachers, students, principal and books. There is no need of guns, a protection as long as teachers are doing their job of teaching and protecting the kids. I went to a school in India and my school don’t have a cop, military or even a gun. The students completely agreed with my opinion as they also felt there is no need of another armed personnel in the school.
I strongly believe, to bring real peace we need to love our enemies. It is tough but we have to be realistic and think about it before its too late. Love your enemy because hatred is only going to bring hatred, anger and revenge then. Let’s not call anyone names, lets be human and ask for peace! March only for PEACE!

“Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.” ~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

~ Dawn

The Ones That Love Us, Never Really Leave Us!

Today is a sad day! This morning when Dad called and said that my Uncle (Mom’s brother), expired I was more like a professional receiving a bad news and handling the situation very sensibly. I even told my Dad, tell Mom not to think too much as Uncle has been suffering a lot lately and we all should think it’s a relief for him from all his pains.

Like we all do some news takes time to sink in. My mind unconsciously was processing this news though I was attending meetings and adding value to come up with a business decision. Even when I went to the gym I was telling myself I am going to release all my stress here.

I came back to my desk and while having lunch I wrote a note to my cousins

“Heard the news… Don’t know what to say I grew up with him. All my childhood memories are covered with him… It’s sad yet feel good that I was able to meet him when he was serious first time… I will always cherish the best and will feel happy for having such a Ammavan (Uncle) in my life who was a kid with me when I was a kid and he walked through with me as a friend, guide, advisor always ♥… I don’t want anyone to feel sad because being so good he suffered a lot in the past 21/2 years and he needed this rest but he pulled along because of the love that he has with all of us. Peace and Love”

As soon I wrote this tears rushed into my eyes, as if the writing made me to sink in that news and I was all of a sudden feeling that a big part of my childhood is gone and now it’s only memories.
I couldn’t stop at that as things started rolling in mind…

He was very close to my Mom and then when I was born he really spoiled me. My first time eating beef that too in Jayanti Janata Express train, I remember writing a post on this.
I was always a special niece for him as all my other cousins either they are scared of him or out of respect they will never come in front of him.

I was always different because I never believed that one needs to be away from someone you love and respect. I remember how my Uncle used to play pranks with me and he used to lift me by my legs and put my head down hanging. All this circus I used to enjoy while my Grandma used to get worried.
There are so many memories that it just brings the moment live in front of my eyes.

I remember one time when my neighbor friend called me to give him company to go to the nearby grocery store to get some item for his mom to cook in the kitchen and I agreed to go with him.
It was not dark as sun was still there however, sun was planning to set and by the time we came back it was little dark and my Mom was waiting for me with a stick in hand. That day my uncle was visiting us and he was also standing next to my Mom.
The moment I saw both of them, I knew I am going to get it today and that too a good one.
I started apologizing from far and said Mom, please don’t hit me I will never go again. But my Uncle came forward and by holding my hand he brought me closer to Mom and said but this is important so that you remember very well next time. I was totally surprised at that. He always  pampered me and always supported me in everything but this time it was different.
I wondered what happened, but yes he cared for me dearly and never wanted me as a kid to be in a crowded place that too without my parents or guardians when it was about to get dark.

The best thing about life is that small incidents no matter how old it is the person makes it special and memorable that no matter how old you get it remains fresh in mind as if it happened yesterday.

I have spent a very good portion of my childhood with my Uncle and when he is gone from this world, all I feel is a big part of my childhood is gone. It’s a big void and I hope wherever he is, he should be in peace. I will dearly miss him always!

“The most painful goodbyes are the ones that are never said and never explained”

~ Dawn

Country roads, take me home, to the place I belong…

This time of the year, I really miss India, specially Pune. Growing up in Pune as a Malayalee (Keralite) is one thing but I grew up watching and being part of Diwali celebration.

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I think every year I did something or the other and celebrated in my way but this time probably I am feeling its all fake. My friends say I should still do it that’s how kids are going to know and learn about it. But Diwali is not only about one person it’s about everyone celebrating and when you don’t have that kind of unity it’s a failure.

“The more you praise and celebrate your life, the more there is in life to celebrate” ~ Oprah Winfrey

Being in NDA, Pune I celebrated diwali with friends and family by wearing new clothes, exchanging sweets, mom used to make sweets at home- I miss karanji the most and play with fireworks (Laxmi bomb, Vishnu bomb, paanpatti, phuljhadi, ladi, captain bomb, rocket and so on) – it was fun. But when I got to live with Maharashtrians in the family I fully lived the 6 days diwali celebration and each day had its meaning and purpose and there was so much of enthusiasm that no matter what issues you have all goes away during festivity times. The weeks ahead preparation of sweets, shopping for 6 days different clothes and matching jewelries and so on… the crowd used to be fun and late nights coming home with eating dinner out as no one has time to cook and yet excited with the whole nine yard celebration.

“We don’t call it homesick. We call it missing home. There’s not a sickness involved, it’s a state of mind.”

I miss all that today and feels a vacuum everywhere. So many messages, celebration pictures on social media and all this is reflecting on me and my thoughts.

A diwali where I am missing my mom’s homemade sweets and the traditional aspect of the celebration.

“Sometimes you will never know the true value of a Moment until it becomes a Memory”

Happy Diwali!!!

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~ Dawn

“Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.”

“A desire to help others and give to the world before saying adios to this place, it was that desire as a seed, seeded inside me and Good Gigs let that seed sprout out.

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What is born needs to be nourished well for it to grow and spread the good health across and hence Children were always special to my heart.

By helping and supporting the education for children will layout the foundation that will let these children to grow and flourish and spread the goodness across and this will multiply, so at Delta Utah my focus was children throughout and hence the planning to make sure the training we give to the teacher initiators and teachers are easy enough to adapt and in return the teacher’s roll this out to kids in an easier manner.

“Every child you encounter is a divine appointment” ~ Wess Stafford

In doing this, the preparation brought the best of the minds together to brainstorm and the outcome was incredible.

It was not easy to be frank. When we prepared our training deck, it was easy to believe that we captured every detail to show how the tool works. The challenge was how to deliver this simple deck to the teacher initiators who are actually well educated with full of awareness. Teaching a teacher is a challenge and believe me or not it needs lot of preparation, guts and confidence to hold their hands and walk along with them.

Good thing to be part of technology industry where it allows you to play with the tool and learn the hard way. To get to the level of each teacher initiator based on their understanding of the technology and then take that ride to a standard level was a worth learning experience for me personally, as it helped me to learn from the teachers and the details of the tools as well.

How to teach without intimidating and be part of the learner group to discover and explore the findings.

The teacher initiators and teachers loved each and every small thing that they learned about technology be it a copy/paste or right click and select. It taught me how simple things can bring happiness to you it doesn’t have to be expensive that costs money.

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”~ Confucius 

Though VMware and Dell and other institutions took that expense to support this cause and the result was happiness, full of confidence, achievement and looking forward with technology in mind as a goal. It was an emotional ride for everyone be it the Millard School District High-School members, teacher initiators and teachers, people of Delta Utah or even the students of Millard School District schools – it is an emotional bonding that lead us to win everyone’s heart, it’s the people!

The personal touch with each training helped me to connect with each individual of Delta Utah that we associated with. Be it CoSN, SEDC, Millard District Office members, teacher initiators… the parting was painful yet the emails and connections through messages is keeping this bondage going with the hope to support each other going forward.

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The motivation, giving confidence to make that first mistake and letting them to correct themselves with support, perseverance, and letting others to grow is the key to be a leader.

“If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you’re a leader.” ~ John Quincy Adams

While doing all this, there was not a single thought of what I am getting out of this because all my actions and thoughts were triggered towards to give the best to them to make a success for their day to day life. In doing so I learnt a lot from others about the approach, individual thought process, perceptions, emotions and vulnerability, those hugs and caring moments all adds up to climb the tallest mountain in the world. To let others to flourish with your support is the key I learnt in my leadership role.

There is no race, there is no game, because we all are in this game and have to make the team be comfortable. It doesn’t matter who made the goal in the goal-post as long as we have made efforts to make that goal to win the game. ☺

 

This Good Gig has given me an opening to the world which I was thinking to enter after my retirement but I guess I don’t have to wait that long if I have to do a good gig I can do it anytime. The journey continues for me… and I am happy if you want to hop along with me ☺

“Never get tired of doing little things for others sometimes those little things occupy the biggest part of their hearts”

~ Dawn

You always put your family first…How true is it?

I was just going through my postal mail when I saw a mail coming from Canada.
I opened it and it had these lines “You always put your family first… and we want to help.”
It was about the government program for the Canadian citizens for the Universal Child Care Benefit, for Children’s Fitness Tax Credit, for Post-Secondary education and much more…!
Such a nice thought isn’t it that a country thinks so much about your kids and family and I am thinking what we do to make this family happy, healthy and flourishing?
The other day at lunch time one of my friend said, ‘we all say hello – hi by sitting in different rooms of one single house to each other – i.e. kids and parents’ and she said remember when we were kids how we used to have our family sitting together whether it’s near the dinner table or near the fire place, it used to have so much meaning and bonding that even when my parents are not there I still miss them and value their teaching and try to induce those in my kids. But what can I do…they are growing up here and it’s all about computers and internet.
It took me to my childhood days. Growing up in NDA always induced certain discipline element in us and hence there was no question as why we have to come to dining table to eat our dinner or snacks. It was understandable if you don’t reach to the breakfast table at 8.30 a.m. then no one has time to wait for you and everyone will finish their breakfast and move on with their daily routine. The person who used to come late will always feel that guilt as he or she has to sit alone on the dining table and eat the breakfast without having anyone to talk to. Those days it used to hurt but the best things that I remember even today is from those moments.
We used to have our evening tea time when my mom and dad used to come from work and I used to make tea for them and some snacks – either I make it by following the recipe from the magazine or the cookies that my mom used to bring from Canteen – either way it was a refreshing moment for my parents who come all the way from work tired driving and having a sip of tea along with those snacks they would look at us and ask what happened today at school? What made us happy and what was not so good according to us.
I was known to be a story teller as I have a way to describe each and every detail of that single day. I will even describe what our teacher was wearing and how my friend and myself were discussing about a topic on dad’s after reading a story from Reader’s digest – all this used to be shared there and in between I will see my brother fighting to get in his point and so forth. When we both kids are satisfied with our stories and we are done with our tea, I will see my mom sharing her office issues and concerns and dad as always giving solutions to it. I have always seen such sessions as family time which I see in today’s time we lack. Our kids are growing without knowing what family value is, they are thrown into stuff where parents think we are keeping them busy with all kinds of programs and extracurricular activities. The child though keeps hearing about family and family values through books or movies…but if we don’t implement them ourselves how are they going to even get to see a glimpse of it?
I have never seen my parents fighting though there will be instances where my mom may not agree with my dad on certain topics but they both had their justification to it and no one’s ego was crushed. That’s called understanding.

Today kids eat in their room or they may end up eating by watching TV or reading books…we are becoming more social on the internet though face book and twitter but in reality we are so far in same house but sitting in different rooms.
There was a time when families in India used to live in one room with 2-3 siblings and yet they all were able to live and have their privacy – today we have rooms for each member in the house and what’s the use we go in those rooms and sit and socialize and make visual friends. You add your friends up to 500 on face book and you feel good about it. In reality physically how many friends do you go to with whom you can chat and discuss things where in your friend can straight tell you on your face what you are doing is right or wrong or even consider thinking about certain things which is for your own goodness? If you ever happen to have such friends also people will break the friendship with such because they don’t like anyone to show them the mirror. But then how are we going to bring this change into our life, when we talk about the continuous change and collaboration and family concept?
MK Gandhi, said to see a change that you would like to bring in implement in you first…(not exactly in those words) but you need to change yourself first to see that change around you.
Sadly, social networks are making money and adding more and more applications to keep everyone busy only to see each individual is kept busy with activities whether it is on the net or on the programs such as swimming, soccer etc.
Companies will grow and mint money but the families won’t be there to live together. The mere concept of it is eradicating from our society and yet when someone tries to bring the change – how well this change is faced? How much are we thinking what’s good for our kids? Again, the note from the Canadian mail reminds me the words ‘You Always Put Your Family First…” Do we?
Can we help ourselves first and then seek help later if needed?
“Family faces are magic mirrors.  Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present, and future” ~ Gail Lumet Buckley

I shall not die of a cold. I shall die of having lived…

Life sometimes really teaches you so many things in so many different ways.
I have realized this as I was growing up.

I remember it was spring time when I used to see this dark skinny guy wearing white shirt and white lungi (a traditional outfit for men in Southern part of India) with a black framed specs. The first thing I noticed was his smile where in I could see few twisted or broken teeth.
He used to come to our neighbor’s house where he used to make the ladies stitch the clothes. In a way he was making living for himself but at the same time he was giving a way of living to the ladies who were our neighbor’s sisters.

My dad used to come from office whether during lunch time or even after office hours this guy used to come and chit chat with him. They used to exchange cigarettes, at times my dad would prepare tea and invite him and things started moving on in this way.
I was a little girl watching him all the time as to me he was still a stranger…though people used to address him as Tailor Master. He used to give sweets to me and during summer vacation time he used to play with us carom board just like kids…he was an expert and I always had this in mind that I want to defeat him at least in one game.

He used to coach me at times, he used to get mad at me at times when I am making mistakes while hitting the coins. He used to challenge me and many times I have accepted it and won as well and as a reward he used to give me money.
Important thing to note was not how much but whatever he could figure out the amount that is rolled into his shirt’s sleeves he will remove it and give it to me.

Taking money from anyone is not considered a good habit and I was very scared to do so. The first time he gave me the reward that was in front of my parents and when parents said that’s okay…he said, ‘No, but I gave her the word so in my case you should let your daughter to take it and since then taking money from Tailor Master as a reward or bet became common. I felt proud one time when I defeated him in the game in fact Tailor Master was surprised and he was amazed too.

“As we struggle to make sense of things, life looks on in repose”





Tailor Master was a guy who had no relatives, no family members. He was a single guy – working as a Tailor in Goal Market in National Defense Academy (NDA) – Goyal Clothing Store. He used to decide whether he will go to work or not. At times his absence from work will lead to no money and at that time my granny who was visiting us that summer used to invite him for lunch and dinner.

That’s the time I actually came to know he was alone and has no one to be called as his own. I used to ask lot of questions to my granny on this…as how can one be without anyone – isn’t it sad?
I used to be nice with Tailor Master, my granny went back and I took her place when it came to lunch, dinner or tea for Tailor Master. He used to tell my parents that I am very kind heart and it could be a problem for me as people can take advantage of my this nature.

There were times when I used to get angry with Tailor Master as he used to tease me and play pranks on me – even though his age was more than my dad – his childish attitude gave me freedom to play pranks on him, or tease him etc.
My mom always used to tell me call him uncle and not Tailor Master but I never could change as everyone else used to call him that way.

I remember my school uniforms were all stitched by him. I tell you he was an expert in that and hence no wonder his leave of absence never lead him to be jobless. In school when other girls used to see my uniform they used to ask their tailors to stitch that way and when they couldn’t get it exactly then they came to me asking for my tailor. His work was amazing – he used to always remind me of a traveler whether sunny, rain or winter he used to be in the same outfit.
I remember one time he came to my mom and said I don’t know by the time your daughter gets married will I be still alive so let me contribute some money as and when I can so that later you can buy a gift for her from my side.

I still feel that was such a touching thought…I used to collect the coins and bills in the powder tin and bought a golden locket for my necklace.
He used to speak his heart for which some liked him and some didn’t. I always liked him for what he said, what he shared and always enjoyed the part where I used to fight with him – but it was very sad to hear yesterday when my dad said he is no more…!
He was supposed to meet my dad this month. It’s true one can’t say anything about humans.
I pay my tribute by remembering him since my childhood till date. May his soul rest in peace. I am sure he is watching me and giving his blessings too. Even though he came to this world all alone ..he lived all alone as per his will and he made friends and family along the way as he crossed through places in life and I am pretty sure he has touched many lives who will be thankful to him and will be praying for him.

”A man does not die of love or his liver or even of old age; he dies of being a man”