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For Those Children


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For what they were killed, they would never know.
Some zealots without heart, brain or conscience
The sound of bullets, music to them.
Meek cries, those frightened eyes, innocent faces
Nothing could melt their hearts which pumped poison
Insouciant killers, violence and terror, their religion.

The world is numb, humanity is profaned
Watching with teary eyes, will it ever end?
Stop killing in the name of religion for we all are same
Watching us up there, Ram, Jesus, Allah …what’s in a name?


Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers



Top post on IndiBlogger.in, the community of Indian Bloggers

1-51tBPESjQKL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX318_SY318_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA318_AA300_SH20_OU01_The deadly disease which not only slowly pushes a person towards his end but also makes him ‘untouchable’ socially, is AIDS. Even after so much preaching and teaching, any HIV positive patient is treated as a social outcast and sometimes, a sinner. We fail to comprehend the simple fact that mere touching  or treating an AIDS patient doesn’t make one infected with the disease. Also, indiscriminate and unprotected sex is not the only way for the transmission of the disease, it can also be spread through needle sharing, blood transfusion and from a pregnant mother to the child.

To break these myths about AIDS and to make people aware of the facts Santosh Avvannavar this time has joined hands with Santosh I. Biradar to come up with the book, Black, Grey & White. The title of the book is quite significant as it conveys the fact that nobody is spared from the fatality of AIDS, be it young, middle-aged or old. There are five simple yet fascinating stories which bring forth different issues related with AIDS.

The first story is about an aspiring journalist who finds himself in a vicious circle of human trafficking while investigating for an assignment. That myths about AIDS are how deeply instilled in some people’s mind and affecting the society dangerously, have been revealed in this story.
The second story of Chintu speaks about discrimination among those children who are found to be HIV positive. They’re getting punished for something which they’ve not done. All they need is a positive touch of love to ameliorate their pain and agony.
The third story deals not only with AIDS but also another burning issue, casting-couch. The fourth one shows how innocent people become victims of AIDS unknowingly, they pay for their ignorance with their life. The last one deals with parenting and other related issues.

Of the five stories, I like the second one most, the story of Chintu (The Earth is Round). All the stories will make you think, of the society and the fatal disease. The AIDS victims, do they really deserve the opprobrium which they usually receive from us? It’s time we should consider the facts and begin to think rationally. Only then the society will change its attitude towards AIDS. The book Black, Grey & White  has been launched on 1st December 2014, on the occasion of World AIDS Day.

The language is simple and the writing style is quite appreciable. The cover page and illustrations by Mohit Goel also deserve special mention. Santosh Avvannavar always writes for social causes and to generate mass awareness about different issues. You can look out for my reviews of his other works herehere and here.

Grab a copy of the book : PonthiAmazonAmazon Kindle EditionAmazon.IN

I Enslaved My Fear


Fear is one of our worst enemies. Everyone gets afraid at some point of life and perhaps the most primal fear is the fear of darkness. I remember my childhood days when I was terribly afraid of the dark. My mother invented an unique way to drive off  my fear of darkness. She used to put my favourite doll at the darkest corner of the house and the only way to collect it was to go there myself getting over my fear. I used to throw tantrums and sometimes even cried but maa was determined. Slowly, I learnt to gather courage in order to recover my doll from the dark. I also learnt that darkness is nothing but absence of light and no shadowy creature would pounce upon me from behind. That was my first lesson to enslave fear.

Life teaches us new things every now and then…..including new fear. Few years ago, I went with my friends to Gangtok. We were sure to enjoy our stay in the picturesque town and what made us more excited, that there was a place nearby from where we could do paragliding.  All of us got thrilled and the very next day we reached at Baliman Dara, the take-off point for paragliding. My enthusiasm just washed out as soon as we reached there. The very sight of  para-gliders rising high above the ground churned my intestine. Though there were certified pilots to accompany every inexperienced yet adventurous tourist but that was not enough inspiration for me. “What if the harness suddenly fails to hold the pressure and the weight? What will happen if wind begins to blow roughly?” I asked one of my friends who was trying to encourage me. He nodded his head in frustration saying,”you’re missing experience of a lifetime”.

I watched as my friends, one by one, flew like birds and everyone was overwhelmed with the  breathtakingly beautiful aerial view. They were overjoyed and even were planning to come back next day. While hearing their conversation, something jolted me from inside. What am I doing? I’m becoming a slave to my fear …..the figment of fright is misleading me and if I fail to overcome, my cowardice will mock me for the rest of my life. I must face my fear to win over it.

I decided to take the challenge, I wanted to face the fear with all my strength. I chose to consort with courage and as I announced my decision, my friends cheered me up.

Numbness and trepidation paralyzed my other emotions as soon as my paragliding pilot helped me to sit in harness which was attached to the paraglider. The take-off moment took my breath away and I tightly closed my eyes. I could feel strong wind blowing by my side and we were no longer on ground. Slowly I opened my eyes to witness the most beautiful sight of my lifetime! The view of snow clad mountains, small villages which looked like miniature paintings, serpentine roads…all made me speechless! The feeling was like that of a bird. I forgot all about my fear, I felt blessed to witness such beauty of nature. We were up there for hardly 7/8 minutes, but those are the most memorable moments of my lifetime. Not only for the exotic view but also for the reason that I succeeded to rise above my fear. It was my victory over intimidation and insecurity…over my fear. I still cherish those wonderful moments of my life.

The latest advertisement of Mountain Dew says the same. #RiseAboveFear to take control of your life and to claim victory. Do watch the advertisement for it’s entertainment as well as inspirational value. To know more view their Facebook page as well.

This post is written as an entry for Indi Happy Hours #RiseAboveFear Campaign in association with Indiblogger and Mountain Dew

 

Haiku : Snow


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soft, snowy whisper

adorned bony branches like stars

simple happiness

Shared with and inspired by Carpe Diem’s prompt ‘snow’


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Feeble hands and weary eyes
Bereft of hope
Warmth, which they fail to hold
Bleak morning, dull sunlight, grayish gold

Geometric lines on his face
Age… an insane painter. 
Frail skin, winter’s easy prey 
Eternal cold, on his way.

 

Blog To Feed A Child #2


Children are the future of a nation. The progress of a country depends on the well being of children. It’s a pity that even after so many years of independence our government has failed to ensure the basic necessities for every child. Children are like soft, tender buds, and are needed to be protected  till they’re full-bloomed. Unfortunately, child-labour is still practiced widely in India and many children are left with no option but to work in unhealthy, unhygienic conditions in order to earn for their families and thus become easy victims of malnutrition.Their childhood is shattered by harsh blows of reality. Education is a distant dream for them. To turn those dreams into reality several NGOs are working simultaneously with the government. In order to educate every child and to motivate them to attend schools, Mid Day Meal Scheme has been introduced long ago. MDM has successfully increased the number of students and their subsequent retention in schools. Children from families living below the poverty line are inspired to attend schools when they’re sure to receive at least one square meal daily.

LET HER BLOOM

LET HER BLOOM

Elimination of classroom-hunger is undoubtedly a tough challenge and we can all join our hands to make it a success. At our workplaces, we can raise funds which can be donated for this purpose at the end of the month. We can tie-up with the local grocery shops that they will supply a certain amount of grains or vegetables or similar things to the schools on a monthly basis. We need not to do all these things at a large scale, small efforts from each one of us can make a big difference.

Spread the awareness whenever possible. Don’t be a mute spectator next time when you see a child working at a tea-stall. Let others understand the importance of education for a child. Protest against child-labour. Our bold voice can make the life of a kid brighter and better. Each child has the right to get education and food.

Brighten up the festive days and gift small educative tools to slum children. As I’ve already said, you need not to spend a large amount…. pencils, pens, copies and even used books will help them a lot. Let’s do our bit to eliminate hunger and illiteracy, let’s change India.

I’m trying to make a difference with the power of blogging in association with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda. For every blog post we write, 
 BlogAdda will sponsor meals for an Akshaya Patra beneficiary for an entire year, as a part of our Bloggers Social Responsibility.
This is my 2nd post in this wonderful initiative. Trust me, it gives immense happiness to see others smile.

AKshaya Patra is a non-profit organization which is the world’s largest (not-for-profit run) mid-day meal programme serving wholesome food to over 1.4 million children from 10,661 schools across 10 states in India.

 

In association with Akshaya Patra and BlogAdda, I am going to #BlogToFeedAChild.

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