Small Things #33 – What’s the meaning of HAND?

A while back, I asked my kids to write something interesting. I felt the children were being too comfortable with digital writing and ‘dear old’ handwriting was taking a backseat. After a little protest, they finally agreed.

So, the older one decided to write a letter to his cousin sister telling her about his summer vacation while the little one began to write the story of a dog.

After giving a long lecture on cases, grammar and punctuation to the older one, I turned towards the little one. He was frantically editing his work to escape my lecture. I took his copy and read the story of the dog-

One day a small dog was HAND when he saw something.”

“What is the meaning of this? I don’t understand the sentence.”

“Mumma, what’s there to not understand?

“What’s this HAND doing in the middle of a sentence?”

Mumma, it means the small dog was HAVING A NICE DAY (HAND) when he saw something. There was no space to write so I used short form. You understand short form, right?”

This was hilarious and the older one gave a thumbs up to lil bro. I told him short-forms are not acceptable in formal writing.

But would it be acceptable in the future? I thought.

English is changing so much, digital texting language may become more acceptable in formal English by the time my kids grow up. Good or bad, I don’t know (IDK).

Although many are not happy with the changes in the English language, some linguists say kids, far from destroying English, are innovating and enriching the language. This adaptability is the greatest strength of English. Words change forms, names becomes ACRONYMS and best of all English takes on local flavors. Don’t you agree?

This episode also made me realize – I need to keep up with the new lingo of this generation before I start receiving lectures.

Well, G2G at the moment, will BRB soon! LOL.

Image courtesy Google

The Man Who Sold Happiness – A Bedtime Tale

Story of a man selling happiness at a village - stories by shivangi

One day, an old turbaned man arrived at a colorful, bustling bazaar in India. He set up a signboard at a corner – I Sell Happiness for Two Paise.

Many dismissed him as a con man, but a lot came out of curiosity. A man selling happiness was rare! “Hmmm, happiness for two paise? Can you show me happiness?” One mustached man said sarcastically.

“Sure, come sit by me”, said the happiness seller. By now, a small crowd had gathered to see the “tamasha”.

The customer threw two paise at him. The seller took out a carved mirror from his “potli” and put it in front of the man. The customer’s face contorted at first, and then he burst out laughing.

“Bravo! It’s strange, but he does sell happiness!” The customer announced.

Bedtime Story - Graphics of a man selling happiness - stories by shivangi

Another customer came, and he went away laughing too. Some customers smiled, some laughed and, many rolled on the ground with laughter. Everyone thought the happiness seller was a magician.

One little orphan boy watched the seller from far, and thought – “The mirror seems magical, but what does it show?”

By evening, the crowd around the seller lessened, and he noticed the boy.

“Son, do you want to buy happiness, too?” he called out. The boy nodded but explained, he had no money.

“Well, I can always barter,” the seller said.

“Seller, I have just hardship and sadness to offer!” said the boy.

“Well, no harm in offering that to the magical mirror. Let’s see how it conjures happiness for you,” the seller said, kindly.

The boy sat and offered his hardship and sadness to the mirror…

What ensued was laughter… unrestrained laughter… from the child! His infectious laughter came from his pure heart, and soon, it spread all over the village. No one knew why everyone else was laughing.

Bedtime Story - Graphics of a boy experiencing happiness - stories by shivangi

The happiness seller had no idea the mirror could give THAT kind of happiness. After the boy stopped laughing, he asked – “Son, I am amazed. I am 100 years old now but I never saw anyone experiencing such BLISS! What happened, tell me?”

The boy smiled and said, “Dear seller, thank you for this great opportunity. Let me explain the reason.

The first man’s happiness came from jealousy. The mirror showed his enemy falling into the ditch. So, he laughed. The second man’s happiness came from ambition. He saw himself traveling to a new land and earning wealth. So, he laughed.

Everyone’s happiness came from something they wanted – their desire! They got happiness in the same proportion.

My happiness was based on the act of surrender – of my hardships and sadness. I let go of my burden, stress…and what stayed in me was …nothing…just peace. This inadvertently filled me with ecstatic laughter. The mirror showed me so free and joyful, and I laughed. And it spread everywhere.”

The turbaned man folded his hand and said – “My child, a divine being told me I will meet my successor here. And I found you! All my life, I sold happiness, became rich but never understood it. Today I saw it. So, will you be my companion in spreading real happiness…?”

The boy smiled and nodded.

The next morning, people from far and wide rushed to the bazaar to buy a fresh dose of happiness. Who doesn’t want happiness for two paise? What they didn’t understand was the priceless truth – real happiness does not come from what we GET but what we LET GO of…

Villagers desperately searched for the happiness seller. But he had already left with his successor.

Happiness Quote - Stories by Shivangi

Story & Images – @storiesbyshivangi

If you are a job seeker, do read the 5th tip!

Every day, millions of people sit in front of the computer searching for a job. With eyes scanning the screen, fingers typing that perfect cover letter, mind in a state of agitation and heart filled with prayer, every job seeker, searches for that Elusive Perfect Job. It is especially challenging to get a job, if you are trying after a gap or do not have professional connections.

For most, getting a job is a matter of bread and butter while others look in order to be in a better work situation …but whatever may be the reason – It’s disheartening to read the rejection letter after being extremely hopeful about getting a job.

“Unfortunately, you are no longer under consideration for this position…” – this line in a job rejection letter is terribly disheartening. It may ruin one’s entire day or maybe week! But the fact remains that the only way to finding a job is to be on the move… to explore! So, while the search is on, do remember some of these tips from your blogger friend!

  1. If you have applied for 40 jobs, aim for 400 – The higher the count, the better the chances are to get employment. Also, while searching, you will come across a variety of job requirements and explore new career avenues, which you never thought, existed. Job search is a great learning experience in itself.
  2. You are a job explorer rather than a job seeker – You did not lose that job, you have just been directed to a new path on your way to your job. Don’t take it personally, it’s not about you, it’s about their job requirements. You are a job explorer! You go find or create a new path!
  3. Add that element of fun to your job search – Tired, bored, exhausted from a job search? Why not add some element of fun to it. Make a peppy, off-beat resume or maybe, appear for on-the-spot hiring events (even though unrelated), just for the heck of it. You never know what you will come across.
  4. If you feel nervous about interviews, think this way! – You’ve got an opportunity to talk about yourself. In the world of social media, everyone is talking about their achievements. But here is a chance to talk about yourself to someone, who is so eager to listen. So, go ahead, be chatty and talk about yourself. Also, you get a bonus chance to interview the interviewer too. When you have the chance to ask questions, do ask – what qualities and skills are they looking for in an ideal candidate? And what are the daily challenges in the job? You will get many important answers from his response.
  5. The one quality that will get you through the most trying times is – Resilience. Don’t worry about dwindling confidence, lack of motivation, self-defeating thoughts or lack of connections. They are what they are – Just thoughts! Your job is to keep exploring and applying.
  6. Tap the Hidden Job Market- Be on the lookout for the Hidden Job market. It exists but does not get advertised. It’s potential can be tapped through networking, volunteering or reaching out to people.
  7. During the job search, take out a few hours to upskill yourself. Get certified or take a course. It helps!
  8. Raise the target as your search continues – If you have applied 400 times, make sure you raise the target. In the face of such tremendous willpower, how will the elusive job, stay elusive?
  9. Congratulations! We are pleased to offer you a job at our company. We think that your experience and skills will be a valuable asset to our company.” – Read these words and envision the joy associated with them. It will take you nearer to your goal!

Breathe, Believe and Good Luck! And, congratulations in advance.

Images courtesy Google

Why is the Sky so up above the Earth? – A Folk Tale

Here is a very imaginative bedtime folk story to spark your kids’ imagination!

Once upon a time, the Sky was very close to the Earth. You see, they were married! They were so close that humans could actually touch the clouds in the Sky. 

Since there was little space between the Earth and the Sky, humans were smaller in size. They were so little, that they used rats to plow the field instead of oxen. And they kept ants as pets.

Sometimes life would become inconvenient for men and women. If they jumped, their heads bumped into the clouds, causing rain. They could not even lift their hands while dancing. The trees could not grow big because there was no room to grow. And the Sun was too close, causing extreme hot weather.

Although, some kids loved having the Sky so close at night. You see, they could check out the stars closely! But on moonlit nights, it was difficult to sleep since the Moon glowed so much that all of them had to cover their eyes.

One day, a very old, grumpy granny was sweeping her courtyard with a broom. Accidentally her hand hit against the Sky. This made her lose her temper. Angrily, she gave the Sky a very hard push. 

The Sky was already scared of the granny’s temper. And it went up like a rocket, and reached where it is today to be safe. 

The Earth began to weep since her husband had gone far from her. But the Sky said they could always meet when the rain would fall! They would also be together, somewhere in the horizon. He was not ready to come down because of the angry granny.

So, the Sky stayed up and the Earth down. Also, this was convenient, since there was more room for everyone to grow taller. The grumpy granny lived longer than two hundred years and came to be known as – The angry granny who pushed away the sky.

-Inspired by a folk story of Muria Tribe from Madhya Pradesh, India

Graphics – @storiesbyshivangi

Krishna Janmashtami Special: Positive Quotes from the Gita

Krishna Janmashtami is around the corner, and everywhere devotees are busy planning Krishna’s birthday. Janmashtami is the time for us to pause and celebrate life just as it is – chaotic-funny, imperfect-blessed, challenging-motivating, sorrowful-joyful – just like our beloved Krishna did!

Read on the positive quotes from Gita to celebrate Krishna in the Self. Hare Krishna!

Quotes courtesy Google

Small Things #32 – Summer of 2021 (in pics)

The Summer of 2021 brought hope, normalcy and fun after a grim summer last year. The kids went for camping and on a vacation up North in Minnesota – a getaway, they cherished because it felt divine after the gloomy, uncertain and restricted time they had spent during the Summer of 2020. Here are some Summer fun pictures, which makes the idea of ‘normal’ so real.

I Can Camp – Minnesota’s I can Camp program is great for the first-time campers. All the equipments and support is provided to put up a tent, make food, go hiking and other camping activities. We went there with our friends and had a thrilling time. Here are some pictures of the camping trip.

Duluth – Here are some vacation pictures from along the shores of the mighty Lake Superior – the largest fresh water lake in the world. We also went up to the Lutsen Mountains with family friends and tried the Gondola – an amazing experience to say the least.

Jumping Time – The Summer of 2021 also brought fun birthday parties, jump time and Soccer.

Here is a prayer and hope that soon we will get to see more pictures of kids laughing and having fun everywhere in the world!

Small Things #31 – A Gift of 21 Inspiring Thoughts for Every Child

Today, I came across a treasure of inspiring thoughts for kids in my notes app. These thoughts are great for character and confidence building. I guess I had put it together for my older one, when he was probably 5 and the little one was a toddler.

As I read the list today, that is four years later, I felt the thoughts are still relevant for them. I thought of sharing it with you, my blog friends! I hope this gift of 21 inspiring and positive quotes help you and your kids in some way. ( Copy and take a print out if you wish).

For Dear Kids

1. I never, never, never give up. I keep trying until I achieve what I want. I am successful because I try.😍

2. I am creative when I paint, write, dance, play music, draw or do any form of art.🤡

3. I am responsible and my parents trust me.✌️

4. I know how to listen. When I listen, I show others that I care.😸

5. If I am kind, I have kind friends. Friends are attracted to kindness.👬

6. I think for myself. I know that in every situation, I have a choice. I know that smart choices are choices that are good for me, that do not hurt anyone including myself.🙋🏻

7. Sharing with others makes me feel good and makes them feel good too.🤝

8. Smiling is contagious. I smile at everyone. I smile at the bus driver, at my teachers and at people on the street. When I smile, others usually smile back.😇

9. When I am not happy, I can always choose to think of the good things that have happened to me and change my mood.😎

10. I am honest and say what is on my mind in a nice way without hurting others.😉

11. When I am in trouble, I can ask for help. Many people around me can help me.🤗

12. It is normal to have good and bad feelings. Bad feelings go away eventually.🌈🌞

13. Sport is for fun. When I lose in a game, I am still happy for participating and having fun.🏃🏻🏃🏻

14. When something goes wrong instead of feeling bad about it, I concentrate on what I can do next time to make it better.☃️

15. I know what good attention is and what bad attention is. I attract good attention by being kind, successful, friendly, supportive and happy. It is the better attention to attract.✨

16. I take care of my body by eating healthy and resting enough.🥙

17. I am unique and special in this world.🤴🤴

18. I am grateful for what I have and every night before bed time I say words of thanks for something I have.🙏🏻🙏🏻

19. When I need to do something that seems hard, I break it down to small tasks to make it easier for me.🙃

20. I have good manners and healthy hygienic habits🧴

21. My parents and family love me the most!👨‍👩‍👦‍👦

Images courtesy Google

A Letter to You – Can Summer be far behind?

My Dear,

Not even for a moment, believe that the helplessness and depression of the moment would last forever. It will pass just like many challenging situations in the past did! Moments pass. It is us who hold on to such moments, thinking and predicting endless sorrow and disaster. And thereby, creating more gloom.

The problem is if we stick to gloom, we will not enjoy the good times which will come after! Acknowledge the loss, accept the problems, try your best to work it out and move on. And allow time to heal you. You will be healed!

But never for a moment, think that adversity will stay on…forever…it just cannot. It gives wanted and unwanted life lessons and makes way for ‘Sukh’.

Prosperity, joy and abundance are waiting around the corner to come into your life, for sure, because that is the law of nature. It may look impossible now when it is dark, but who can stop the dawn? If Winter is here, can ‘Summer’ be far behind?

So sow your seeds. Prepare, hope and wait for good things. And do let go of that overpowering gloom and negativity. The landscape will be brighter again, we will have great joyful moments and we will rise brighter and stronger than before.

Till then, keep going and do not forget to smile, my friend, just like that…! Bas yun hi…

With love.

7 Quotes on resilience to remind you of your strength

India has always been resilient, the country has suffered many invasions, barbarism, wars….and has not only survived but thrived. May India be victorious against Covid-19, once again. Here are some quotes to remind everyone of their strengths!

It is impossible to beat the human spirit. We will win over any adversity!

Quotes and Images courtesy Google