Work can be very fulfilling when one is motivated and a person can enjoy what work one does .
I disliked the work I did at the early stage of my career . As a result I was not happy.
I absented myself often, taking full advantage of all the leave I had whether it was casual, sick or privilege leave.
This went on for many years . I got transferred to another unit of my organisation and was also given a temporary posting at another. Finally I was given a third transfer where the work was tough and stressful .
At this time, I realised something very important : Who am I serving ? Is it only the boss ? At every unit where I was transferred, the boss had changed .
How do I cope with the different bosses ? Then one day it struck me that there is only one boss for not only my career at work, but for my entire life. This boss is my God who has created the entire universe .
From that day onwards I worked with renewed vigour. I began to enjoy what I was doing and work became fruitful.
Soon the time came to move on, as my company was not doing well and there were serious efforts to downsize by offering ‘VRS’ which is a voluntary retirement scheme. I applied along with many others, but was not released.
At this time, the Lord gave me courage and wisdom to leave . Teaching always appealed to me. Soon I got a job as a lecturer in a college. My work was noticed by my seniors and subsequently I was offered the position of ‘Principal’. With this position and my experience in senior management in the previous job I was offered a job as Senior Manager of a 4 star hotel.
That proved the most successful part of my career. It was a Christian organisation.
With the cooperation of the person I reported to, we recruited many young people, and introduced many changes like the entire computerisation of the booking system, a fire safety project and a licence for the restaurant, besides upgrading the menus.
So in the end it was the realisation of my service to the Lord Jesus that I saw this successful progress. Eventually when I finished my work career, I was called to lead my church community, which was truly the culmination of my service to the Lord !
Render service with enthusiasm, as to the Lord and not to men and women, knowing that whatever good we do, we will receive the same again from the Lord. (Ephesians 6:7,8a )
These can be memorable with, humour , joy on winning or sadness when losing.
In my youth, I remember a variety of games like cricket, hockey, table tennis, and even sticks and stones , marbles gilli danda, and daba dubi .
For a game of hockey , we played on a mud ground. It would be watered to reduce dust flying in the air . We were 5 brothers and some neighbours usually joined us. Captains of the two teams selected players one by one . Then the game would begin and the crescendo of the noise of hockey sticks and shouts of team members’ encouragement would rise . Occasionally there would be disputes regarding goals scored, whether they were offsides ( which was the rule in those days ) or not.
Cricket was another pastime. We used tennis balls rather than the season balls that are used in test and one day cricket .
Team members’ talents varied . Some were good batsmen , or bowlers or fielders . An amusing incident was when my brother was gifted cricket stumps. He would bring it out for us to play a match . If there was an argument about a decision during the game , he would take his stumps and walk away .
Another incident was when batting , I deflected the ball into my home window . I was very upset . With great apprehension I confessed this incident to my mother , but she graciously forgave me . The outcome of this was that the glass panel was replaced by an asbestos sheet to prevent a recurrence.
Another time , a neighbour joined us for a game . He was the wicket keeper. My brother who was batting, swung his bat to hit the ball and unfortunately hit our wicket keeper on the chin . That was the end of the game as he began bleeding.
Table tennis was played on our dining table with a proper net and table tennis balls. I remember my twin brother and I playing matches. If one of us won, then he would be ‘reigning champion’ and avoided playing again in case he loses, despite the other insisting on another game.
Sticks and stones , Gilli Danda and Marbles were games you will rarely see today .
Sticks and stones only required a stick and the use of the stones on the ground.
Gilli Danda required a ‘Gilli’ which was a piece of wood pointed at either end. The gilli had to be struck with a small plank of wood .
With Marbles you could have a variety of games like ‘pops and spans’, and ‘triangles’. These were played with coloured glass marbles. Some marbles were precious to us as they were of opaque glass and beautiful colours. The other marbles were of transparent glass and a typical double ‘S’ at the centre. Singles and doubles were played with ironies ( small iron ball bearings); a pair of small ironies would be thrown into a designated space against a wall and you had to strike one of them with a larger ironie.
Daba Dubi only required a ball made of stuffed cloth or a tennis ball. One had to get the other ‘ out’ by striking him with the ball.
Today I’m an avid follower of football though I never played the game. I have played tennis, table tennis and participated in athletics . The early experiences of playing hockey and table tennis later helped in representing school and college teams, besides athletics.
When and where will I see the rustic games of ‘Sticks n Stones’, ‘Gilli Danda’ and ‘Marbles’ ? These only require home made equipment and acquiring marbles.
The various types of exercise are interesting. I always liked slow jogging . It’s benefits are excellent. Most importantly is the VO2 level , which measures the ideal Oxygen level needed for the body . Over a period of time , a person develops stamina and can even participate in long distance races .
However , I was introduced to the fitness world of the gym. It was something I avoided as compared to running .
My son , who is a fitness enthusiast, encouraged me to start this form of exercise. The benefit here is developing all parts of the body….:whereas running may not, specially the upper body. Besides, one can also run in the winter months , when it is too cold to do any road running.
For all ages , being fit gives one a positive attitude and good self esteem . Young people love to develop their bodies . Why not , this gives them good looks to impress others or just happy to improve their physique. Elders need to keep fit as a matter of precaution, specially the leg muscles . At an older age , falls can be avoidable . The middle age group need to exercise to escape the desk routine. For that matter even young people need exercise as a lot of time is spent at the computer .
These are some of the types of exercise. There are many more , like swimming , cycling and other sports .
My love for tennis and running is the most funway of exercising. It is relaxing and refreshing. Many may differ on this. Even then let’s remember that keeping fit through any exercise will contribute to good health as long as you enjoy it. Do you agree?
I see sparrows , robins and pigeons visiting my feeder . I replenish the food when it gets empty .
The sparrows are quite aggressive towards the robins . The sparrow does not allow the robin near while feeding and forces the robin to fly away .
The pigeon by virtue of its size, does not bother about this . It feeds well and can consume all the grain if left in a tray .
I wonder what happens if I do not replenish the feeder.
The birds may go to the neighbour’s feeder. However it is possible that feeder is empty .
So where do these birds go and who feeds them ?
Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? (Matthew 6: 26)
Do you worry about your needs of finance to pay bills and buy provisions for food on the table ?
“Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.”(Matthew 6:33,34)
The Lord is a great ‘Provider’ . Trust him with all your heart and he will never fail .
I was not too interested in details : It’s only when doing sugar craft flowers that this aspect became important .
Each flower has so much to see and carve. Just imagine how God has created so much beauty and variety . Just visit the hills in summer and see the wild flowers . I won’t even know the various names , to the extent of the range of diversity .
Artists are good at perception . They look at details around them in nature and human beings too . They can bring out the character of a person so well . Every detail of expression of the face is brought out in the drawing or painting .
Authors do this in words which give a picture in the mind of the reader. I think this can be more detailed . The reader actually sees the person featured in his mind .
However will it be the same for every reader of the same lines written by the author .
That’s debatable . It all depends on how much is written by the author and likewise perceived by the reader .
Recently I attended a function to celebrate a lady’s 80th birthday. My wife and I were quite early, so we sat at a table of four .
Soon guests started trickling in . We were happy when a lady joined us . Later another couple joined us . We adjusted with our seating and were joined by a second couple rather late.
I’ve not been too familiar with these friends who are part of a community I have just joined . Initially only formalities were exchanged.
Very soon as the party progressed we exchanged hilarious incidents. The jokes started pouring in .
Other guests known to us , wondered what was the secret of all the laughter.
The answer was simple ….humour to laugh even at ourselves.
Two incidents were about mistaken identity .
I was a visitor staying with a community of Brothers . As is the norm each person prepares his own breakfast .
While doing so , I heard footsteps approaching. I turned briefly and greeted him “Good morning Don”. To my surprise the person responded gruffly “I’m not Don , I’m Steve.” He happened to be the senior among the Brothers . That evening I was the but of jokes as the Brothers (gathered for the evening of fellowship) all teased me about this .
The second amusing incident was related by the other guest . At a training seminar they dispersed for an interval . As he was walking in the corridor, the main speaker whom he did not know came towards him and gave him a hug “Oh , it’s wonderful to see you after so long.” Later many young people asked him “ How do you know this speaker?” , as it was a privilege to connect with renowned speakers. With a broad smile he answered “ I don’t really know him , but enjoyed the moment.”
A third incident was recounted . The lady had traveled to Edinburgh to collect her graduation certificate for a course she attended . She then planned to return by train to Glasgow where her husband waited to meet her .
At Edinburgh station she grabbed a quick coffee at the station and jumped into a train as she heard ‘Glasgow’ being announced. She telephoned her husband “I’m on the train”Normally such a journey would take 1 hour , but unfortunately this was a slow train which stopped at all stations . So after a prolonged journey she arrived at Glasgow where her husband waited anxiously. This accounted for their late arrival at the 80th birthday celebration. She learnt a good lesson ‘look before you leap’.
The amusing incidents recounted among others helped to put all into a good mood .
Surely humour goes a long way to look at life and laugh.
The thrills of kite flying were immense (this was in the 1960’s )
Evenings were a time to fly kites after returning from school. We bought our kites and thread with manja from a shopkeeper called kite man .
He had several sizes of kites
6paise a medium kite
2paise a tiny kite
12paise a bigger kite called a daboo.
The manja, is thread coated with a glass powder . This would be at the front part of a flying kite , which is used to deal with another kite flyer in a kite fight. This manja and thread would be wrapped on a device called a firki..
Strong thread would be at the rear part of the flying kite .
I liked the 6paise kite as it had wax lines on it . The daboos were also waxed .
We had names for the various wind directions .
Evening breeze was generally from west to east .
Morning breeze was from east to west
Afternoon breeze was from north to south
Night breeze was from south to north .
We flew our kites in the wind direction.
In those days , many youth flew kites and the sky would be full of kites .
Some kite flyers were skilled in kite fights . I would take great care to ensure any flyer would not ‘pull’ me from behind.I.e. cut my string and lose my kite as it sailed away.
In the same way I would be ready for a kite fight and enjoy it with those in front or on the side .
There would be another set of youth who would only be interested in catching the kites that lost their fight and went sailing to land and get caught by them .
As a young guy , I would get thrilled when my eldest brother joined us to fly kites .
There were interesting incidents
when one of my daring brothers climbed the roof of our house to catch a kite . I too ventured to climb the neighbour’s roof and was reprimanded ‘Who is there on the roof’ by an old lady.
Another incident was quite serious . My brother caught a kite that floated near our home . He began pulling it but a sudden pull from the other end , caused the ‘manja’ to cut through his arm to the bone . Blood flowed as he got back to our home and was detected by my aunt . My father (a doctor ) was immediately contacted . The first thing he did , was to give my brother a spanking and then took him to the hospital where he was stitched .
On the 14th January , a kite flying festival is held called Makar Sakranti. Young and old participate in flying kites on this day .
At the end of October on a certain feast day there was a legend that kite flyers would release their kites in the sky which signalled the end of the season .
We were sad when this happened . We missed our evenings of kite flying .
The season spanned between end September to end October .
Sadly we now don’t see kites being flown . Youth have other pursuits .