Monday, September 22, 2014

International Day of Peace !


September 21, 2014 is the international Peace day!

I along with my family was invited for a celebration at the University, wherein people  from varied background came together to participate and share the message of peace.

There were many who shared what peace meant for each of them.  The most important aspect was that everyone felt that peace always begins from within ourselves, when we are at peace, we bring in peace in our family, in the community we live, and also influence the world at large.

There was a video presentation of Prem Rawat, who shared the message of peace; love this quote below:

free images and quotes  Google.com

I recall and remember St Francis of Assisi who believed that nature itself was the mirror of God.  He called all creatures his “brothers” and “sisters” and even preached to the birds.  In his “Canticle of the Creatures” he mentioned the “Brother Sun” and “Sister Moon”.  


http://www.catholic.org

There is famous story Francis preached to hundreds of birds about being thankful to God for their wonderful clothes, for their independence, and for God’s care.  The story tells us the birds stood still as he walked among them, only flying off when he said they could leave.

The most popular prayer of St Francis, which is also sung in all the churches, is “Make me a Channel of your peace……..the lyrics are very inspiring and meaningful. This was one of my favourite hymn in school and also college.

Make me a channel of your peace 
Where there is hatred, let me bring love
where there is injury pardon lord
and where there's doubt true faith in you.

Ch: O master grant that I may never seek
so much to be consoled to console
to be understood as to understand
to be loved as to love with all my soul.

where there's despair in life, 
let me bring hope
where there is darkness, only light
and where there's sadness, ever joy

Make me a channel of your peace
It is in pardoning that we are pardon
In giving to all men that we receive
And in dying that we are born to eternal life.


May we be messengers of peace !

Friday, September 12, 2014

SUICIDE PREVENTION DAY – 10 SEPTEMBER, 2014


“Doing the best at this moment puts you in the best place for the next moment.”
 Oprah Winfrey


 I have written this for Write Tribe and the MSW@USC invite to participate in the 100 voices for suicide prevention campaign. 

This is my post on suicide prevention.

I recall an incident that took place last year, wherein an invitation for a session on suicide prevention, had come to me in one of the slum community.  So I prepared myself to address the boys in that community, the reason being that there were almost 7- 8 suicide among the boys in the previous year.  I reached the slum half an hour early, and was waiting for the session to begin.   

Since I was waiting for the session to begin, I felt like taking a walk around community with the social worker.  I found that at every empty building a few boys smoking, and sniffing whitener.  When they saw us, they started running away.  It took me some time to come back to the venue, as I got the intimation that the boys have gathered and are ready for the session. When I went close I found a small crowd, when I found the reason, I was shocked.

A 19 year old boy has attempted suicide by drinking acid, and in a few minutes, the boy was brought on the main road, and I saw the way he was struggling.  I along with the social worker was shaken and we tried our best to call the emergency ambulance.

There is a cantonment hospital with an emergency, but no doctors available at that particular time, somehow we managed and one of the leaders found the ambulance and the victim was taken to the hospital.

It was a timely intervention, with little delay, and the boy was saved, the social worker went and followed up and kept me updated, and in the process I found out that his father died the same way by consuming acid. He has a mother and a sister, who were beside him at the hospital weeping for him, and serving him, while he lay on the hospital bed.

I was disturbed, shaken and could never forget that sight of young boy, along with feelings of sadness I also felt a strong desire and a need to address this community.

Why talk about suicide?

Because it is the most preventable form of death; there is an alarming rate of suicide in our country; people thinking about it always make their intentions known; fear keeps us from talking about it; and it is also a taboo to talk about suicide in our culture; and the most important thing is the Each of us play a big role in preventing suicides by being the first line of defense against the preventable form of death.
What is needed is to identify the Suicide Clues and Warning Signs, for the more signs and clues you see, the greater the risk. So take all signs seriously.  In general look for Verbal clues … Behavioral clues…    Situational clues.

Verbal clues are easy to identify, by words that is used as I’m sick of life; I won’t be around much longer; Life is not worth it anymore… etc

Behavioural clues are previous attempts made, Acquiring poison, pills, feeling Depressed, hopeless, Change in behavior-mood, religiousness, Giving away prized possessions, Drug or alcohol use, explained anger, irritability, Suddenly becoming nice, Sudden emotionality

Situational clues are intense emotions from the current situation, Losing job, /person/pet,/relationship, death of spouse or best friend, especially if by suicide, Sudden unexpected loss of freedom (legal or mobility), Anticipated loss of financial security, Diagnosis of serious mental/physical illness, Fear of becoming a burden to others

Impulsivity - very intense feelings of burdensomeness, people would be better off without them; profound sense of unconnectedness, a palpable, diminished sense of belonging anywhere, to anyone; a capability for self-harm

So how do we respond for prevention? We recommend you to remember 3 simple “A”s

Ask – the question, it is very important to figure out, whether person is suicidal or not. Asking  the question is more important than how you ask, you can ask directly or even indirectly or even make someone ask, if you are not able to ask

Appeal & encourage the person- providing the telephone numbers, referring them to a helping centre or a helpline, and assure to support them help.

Assist- Best Option: Have the person go IMMEDIATELY to the emergency room/hospital with someone else; Next Best Option: Have the person call and make an appointment with a counselor immediately after speaking with you; Third Option: Get a “good faith commitment” that they will call.
Say, I want you to live or I’m on your side….. We’ll get through this..Get others involved. Ask the person who else might help. Family? Friends? Siblings? Seniors? Teachers? Administration? Anyone who can help.


Whom can you call in Hyderabad?

·         Sahayam (OU Psychological Counseling Centre) 040-27682451
·         Counsellors…G Angela- 8978191518.. Cynthia- 9014238697
·         Makro Foundation (Suicide helpline..Monday to Friday) 040-46004600
·         Dr. George Reddy (Psychiatrist) 9000988944
·         Diana Monteiro (Clinical Psychologist) 90002-34262
·         Hyderabad Academy of Psychology: 32578899
·         Roshini, Sindhi Colony, Secunderabad: 040-27904646
·         Asha Hospital 040-66752222‎
·         Alcoholics Anonymous (YMCA, Hyderabad) Dinakar 9849015203 
Others you know….
   
“Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem”. Phil Donahue quotes 

Say NO TO SUICIDE … LETS JOIN HANDS TOGETHER  TO PREVENT SUICIDE

courtesy free images from Google.com
 TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE !
 

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Teacher’s Day!

courtesy free  images from Google
This day was very meaningful to me, the reason being that the celebration was done in my work place, which I am part of and as a part of the celebration; 4 generations of teachers were honored.  It was a beautiful sight and also overwhelming response to see the great grand teachers returning to the university, and inspiring the students.

As I sat down and listened to them, so many images of my own teachers came to my mind, and filled me with gratitude, whatever I am today in my life, I owe a lot to all those teachers who have mentored me; who have been my guide; my help; my guru. 

I recalled my school days, the teachers who made such an impact on my life, with not only giving knowledge but also by being kind and gentle, taught me to smile at all times, to fight and never give up easily but work hard in reaching the goal.

courtesy free images from Google
In college, my life was so different, a mix of emotions happy and sad, there were restrictions as well as freedom; there were friends to motivate; dreams to achieve and faith to pursue and persist. The best part was the teachers who were always supportive, encouraging, teaching and instilling and inspiring me to believe in myself, to initiative, participate and be of service.

I feel so blessed to have so many teachers in my life, who came into my life at various times and taught me lessons that otherwise I would not have learnt, my teachers came in the form of friends, spiritual guides, gurus who lead to look into myself and challenged me to take the inward journey. 

Today I want acknowledge them in my life, and say a big “THANKS” I have learnt so much, and continue to learn even now… I have become a perpetual learner paying forward whatever I have received in life.


My love and prayers for all my teachers!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Gratitude List Link Up !

I saw Corinne tagging me for gratitude; and I could not resist, and just posted a few. Now I am inspired to write a post for the 5 days;


Gratitude for the day! 1
I am thankful for my husband David who helps me in the household work, which provides me some time for myself, to practice yoga, meditate and pray.  

I am grateful for the lady attender at my office; she cleans up my table, brings in cool water, takes care of students, while I am in session, and is ever willing to serve.

This summer I enjoyed eating mangos with a lot of gratitude, relished every piece!  I was filled  with gratitude for the person who planted the seed, the one who took care of the tree, and the persons who brought the fruit to the city.

Gratitude for the day! 2
I am grateful for my friend who presented me a pretty pink dress, even got it tailored for me. I am happy and thankful for this beautiful dress and the gift of friendship in my life.

I feel thankful to my daughter who learnt to make the chicken curry from her dad, and tried it, while I went out to pick up the vegetables; she was ready with the dish, offering me a delicious and tasty piece of chicken.

chicken fried by my daughter for the first time !
I am thankful for the lovely smart phone I got from one of my friend, who was so thoughtful enough to send it across to me; as she was getting a new one.

Gratitude for the day! 3
I am happy and grateful to my sister in law who welcomed me to her home, for a day, prepared a lovely meal and entertained me and my daughter; it was such a lovely time for me to sit and do nothing and bring in past memorable moments of life and relive them once again with my nephews, and their children.

I am grateful to my sister; who surprised my daughter by sending some very specially cooked biryani, and brightening up my daughter for the evening dinner.

I am happy for one of my students, who came all the way almost 20 kms only to say thank you to me. I feel honoured with these gestures, as they motivate me to do more good.




fre images from Google ! Thanks to the author of this image!


Gratitude day 4!
I feel thankful to Charles who came to play the keyboard for the mass, during the in the silver wedding celebration of my brother and sister in law. The music was so beautiful, that it added value to the prayer service, making the occasion an experience.

I am thankful for my nephews and niece for having started a small group on whats app on my dad’s name and updating one another about well being of families, praying, uplifting and supporting each other, that makes me thankful for the app, and bond that creates.

I feel gratitude to my head at my workplace who is very magnanimous in giving; for the constant affirmation I get, and for the opportunity she gave to attend a lecture on cross cultural issues in counseling by a very renowned speaker.

Gratitude day 5!
I am grateful to my son who taught me lessons of love; and gifted me with lovable memories, to relive the past with gratitude.
Naughty laugh after a prank- my son Emmanuel !
I am happy and thankful for the lovely weather in Hyderabad, so pleasant, cool; giving me a lot of energy and capacity to work both at home and at my workplace.

I am thankful for my daughter’s classmates who were kind enough to help, when she had a fall, to reach her class room, and carry her books, and  help her get into the school bus.



Free images from Google ! thanks to this author !!
Wishing you happiness ! love and gratitude !

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Summer 2014! Sightseeing – Hyderabad!

Our first experience of families coming together for a sightseeing tour in Hyderabad. Thanks to the Soldier’s of Christ for having organized this programme, wherein parents and children had a good time for full day visiting Salar Jung Measum, Charminar and Nehru Zoological Park & Necklace Road. 

Posting these pictures with gratitude!

Charminar, Hyderabad

Salarjung Measum

Salarjung Measum


Salarjung Measum

Nehru Zoological Park

Necklace Road

Necklace Road

“Travel and change of place impart new vigor to the mind.” Seneca




Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Summer Holidays


This year I felt summer was not very long, even though the temperature was very high in Hyderabad.  My only concern is my daughter who begins her summer holidays, and I wanted to ensure that she is busy and occupied.  Luckily I found the Methodist church organizing Vacation Bible School for 10 days, and I was happy to send her to this school.  This year she was happy to attend as she had company of two of my nieces Rachel & Nissi who attended the same camp.  The theme was very inspiring for children; the caption was “YOU ARE SPECIAL”. 

It was an enriching experience, and I was glad to see the bonding happening within them. The camp had singing, learning of memory verses from the bible, Bible quiz, picnic and group work. All three of them were happy to be involved won prizes for various competitions and enjoyed the outing.  I feel a sense of gratitude towards the Methodist church for providing a meaningful experience to the children.

Then we had an invitation to a wedding at Vizag and we took chance to see Aaraku valley and Vizag city, which was an enjoyable experience. I shared the Aaraku experience in my previous post.

Hand made Tortoise 
Then one fine day, I came across an advertisement on summer camp for children at sacred space, Secunderabad.  It was a half day camp, and there was singing, tai chi, kungfu, stiching, art and craft, cooking and also dancing.  So I sent Dorothy to attend this camp for the next 15 days at sacred space; she enjoyed learning here, basic Of Yoga, Taichi & Kungufu. She even baked bread and brought it home.  The last day was fun, as the children performed what they learnt in the camp; Dorothy too joined and danced with other kids. 

Flower vase made in Paper & coloured 
Then there was a session on Rocks and Planets by and environmental organization, called The Society to Save Rocks that seeks to notify, preserve and spread awareness about granite rock formations in Hyderabad.  It was an enlightening session for me, for I never heard of this in our city.  It is said that Hyderabad is the only city in India where rocks are legally protected. This society also organizes rock walks on third Sunday of every month, organizes awareness events, lectures etc... For more information log on to: www.saverocks.org  this definitely was a useful, informative and inspiring session.  I do appreciate sacred space for conducting this session for all children and parents.

Learnt at Sacred space - stationary box
The last week of the holidays, I went out for a couple of movies, and took Dorothy to a circus, as it was the first time, along with my friend and her little daughter. I remembered the circus I went with my mother and the fun that I had watching the elephant; horse and lion perform some acts.  Dorothy was disappointed as she did not get to see the lion and tiger.

Painting done in the camp
There was not much of a crowd, and we were not allowed to take pictures. I admired all those people who did a lot of gymnastic with various props, the guys who rode the motor bikes, the elephant played cricket and dogs too performed some very risky acts. 

Deep within my heart I was also feeling sad for the hard work and the risk that was taken to   perform.  Circus is no longer a great show now for today’s children, as there are plenty of other amusements, and it’s sad to see it dying a natural death.


The end of summer vacation, I was glad and looking back this summer 2014 was quite interesting and enjoyable for it brought in some lovely memories of my own childhood, and watching my daughter enjoy….. … made me feel young and relive once again the joys of childhood.  

Monday, June 2, 2014

Aaraku Valley!

Aaruku Valley in Andhra Pradesh
Recently we visited Aaraku valley, a hill station in Visakhapatnam district. A valley in the Eastern Ghats which is extremely beautiful, free of pollution, quietness and excellent place to relax and rejuvenate.

We planned a train journey, as advised by our friends, the plan was to take Godavari express from Secunderabad and reach Vishakhapatnam in the early hours, and continue to take the Aaraku express that leaves in an hour’s time from Visakhapatnam railway station.  The train got delayed and we missed the Aaraku train.
Aaruku Valley in Andhra Pradesh
So we took a bus journey to Aaraku valley that is surrounded by mountains on all sides and the roads are very steep and covered with thick green forests. I was amazed to see how the tourism has developed this place, driving uphill around the mountains was exciting and thrilling. 

The temperature was cool and the journey was pleasant, watching the beautiful mountains and the lovely trees, full of greenery all around, it was a feast to the eyes.  We had very pleasant trip, moving in and around this valley.
Borra Caves

Some of the interesting places here was the million year old Borra Caves, located deep in the earth, which was discovered by the British geologist William king. Tribal measum which show cast the life style of the primitive tribal groups.


Steep Point at Aaruku
The steep point which is in the highest range offering a fantastic view of the entire valley. Lovely parks and gardens and the coffee plantations, wherein you can get a hot cup of delicious organic coffee.

Aaraku valley is 120 kms from Visakhapatnam and is worth visiting with family for a holiday to refresh and be away from our daily routine city life, which is so much busy and full of stress. I loved the experience of being in this place and moving around the valley, I am glad that we made it as a family.



The road to reach the steep point
This was not a planned trip for this year, but it just happened, while we decided to attend a wedding of one of our close friends in Vizag, we took chance to visit this place. I am happy and glad we made it.


“In all things of nature there is something of the marvelous.”Aristotle

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