You’re the captain of your ship

ship

Today, father while talking to my younger sister about her studies advised her to remember that in no case person has any right to blame others for his failures in life.

These days when my sister is facing problems in her school, my father is busy in motivating her in her studies. I heard him saying that if you’re not succeeding then remember you’re doing something wrong, so instead of blaming others you must try to find faults in yourself.

While hearing conversation between father and my sister, I remember reading Gifted Hands, in the beginning of the book Sonya Carson, mother of Ben Carson, writes a letter in which she shares a poem named “Yourself to Blame” by Mayme White Miller. I like the message of this poem

If things go bad for you

And make you a bit ashamed,

Often you will find out that

You have yourself to blame…

 

Swiftly we ran to mischief

And then the bad luck came.

Why do we fault others?

We have ourselves to blame…

 

Whatever happens to us,

Here are the words to say,

“Had it not been for so-and-so

Things wouldn’t have gone that way.”

 

And if you’re short of friends,

I’ll tell you what to do

Make an examination,

You’ll find that fault’s in you…

 

You’re the captain of your ship,

So agree with the same

If you travel downward,

You have yourself to blame.

She further writes that remember this as you go through life. The person who has the most to do with what happens to you is you! You make the choices; you decide whether you’re going to give up or ante up when the going gets tough. Ultimately, it’s you who decides whether you will be a success or not, by doing what is legally necessary to get you where you want to go. You are the captain of your own ship.If you don’t succeed, you only have yourself to blame.

Choke-masters South Africa live up to their tag

South Africa team

For girls “choker” would be a necklace or a band that fits closely around their necks but a person who fails to keep his nerves calm at crucial moments is also known as “choker” and in the world of cricket this term is reserved for “South African” team.

An idiom “monkey on the back” means a serious problem which is hard to forget and this word “choker” has now become a monkey on the back of South African team.

Since 1991, the team has participated in six world cup events. In every event they have performed well but despite playing good cricket, South African cricket team has developed this identity of getting choked at crucial moments that the semi-final of world cup 2015 saw them putting a tough target but in the end they left the ground whimpering.

players crying

Recently, I was reading an article by a sport’s psychologist in which after ascertaining the situation of South Africa cricket team, he prescribed yoga as a relaxation technique for them. For, it’s a common perception that the team works so hard in ground that they find little or no time to enjoy their game.

Truth be told, mere hard work cannot always guarantee a successful result and it’s been a long time that while working as a teacher at school, I experienced the same.

With no prior experience, teaching kids was a hell of a task for me. The boys are generally considered to be full of energy but my class was a “basket full” of energy.

In those days, I longed for an opportunity to leave that job but before quitting I decided to give it another chance.

I noticed that though I was working hard but deep in my heart, I was not enjoying my job. I wasn’t happy of my designation but once I accepted the reality, things started to change.

Getting back to cricket, in every game South Africa enters like a strong contender but it was painful to watch them leaving whimpering in 2015. At times, it seems that they’re not enjoying playing their game. They appeared burdened and it’s been a long time that in every world cup event the history is repeating itself.

Not sure when this “jinx” is going to break but one thing is for sure the day the South Africa started to enjoy their game will bring refreshing change for them. For, a mere victory can break this jinx for them.

That being said, I like to share some of my old memories here. Back in 2013, my students made these beautiful drawings for me 🙂

My student made that beautiful drawing for me.

This is one of my personal favorite.

 

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A walk to school

walk to school

Prompt: How did/do you get to school: bus, walk, drive or bike?

On drawing the curtains of my school memories aside, the details of those dreary winter mornings often become visible when on hearing the mother’s voice we reluctantly left our warm beds. It was cold and mother knew everything and in order to provide us relief; she used to warm our sweaters in front of heater.

Later, halfheartedly we ate breakfast and by the time we were ready to get into our car, the color of sky started to turn blue. The journey to school meant a drive of forty five minutes. That was a tough routine but my father never showed any sign of distress.

I remember there was a bakery on our way to school. I and my sister loved to eat its fresh buns and for a long time they remained our favorite school lunch.

The day we moved into our new house that routine changed.

The new home brought school on a walking distance and we children started to enjoy that new aspect of life.

Never before I had ever witnessed the beauty of sunshine and my experience of walking to school early in the morning took me closer to my environment. I can recall there was a ground in front of our house and instead of taking a walk on street , I and my sister preferred to cross that ground.

In that process my polished shoes often got mud on them. I was so scared of uniform inspection that I started to put a piece of cloth in my bag. So, by the time I reached school ,I found some time to clean the dust from them.

In summer walking back to home was an unforgettable experience. Under the sweltering heat of warm sun, my black leather shoes burned like fire. It was a distance of hardly seven minutes but often it seemed that that distance would never end and only the idea of drinking cold water and sitting in front of room cooler gave us strength and we continued walking towards our home.

In those days it all seemed a burden. The routine was tough and the days seemed hectic but today looking back at that time, I can conclude that in the absence of any harsh realities of practical life and in the presence of innocent school friendships, I swear that was the best time of my life.

(Image courtesy: Google Image)

Sunday is a Fun Day!

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One more week and there would be an end to “Summer Vacations” in Schools. My sister and my niece are both looking excited.

The days are passing quickly and I’m observing a mixture of feelings upon their faces. The mere idea of meeting school friends after a long time has made them thrilled.

And, like kids they are also worried about the fact that they haven’t got any chance to go outside in these vacations. So, this Sunday was a “fun day”.

Today, they enjoyed their time in a garden and I spend my time in taking their pictures. Though, my niece is quite angry with me. She’s of the view that my act of taking picture was an interruption as she wanted more time on swings 🙂

Despite her unwillingness, I succeeded in taking these pictures.

And while, finishing my post I’m thinking about my own school days. School days are precious. Aren’t they?

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The story of a blue jacket!

blue jacket

The sudden movement of the tectonic plates was brutal.

Standing in front of the ruins of what once was a school, I felt the biting cold air strike my face. Trying hard to fight against the freezing cold, I rubbed my hands and called out my team mates to get assemble.

I was leading the relief mission in that earthquake hit area and after issuing necessary orders, I and my teammates started to distribute blankets and warm clothes among the survivors.

I looked at them, they were large in number and huddled together for warmth their faces were telling the story of their ordeal.

The uncertainty of the future was evident from their faces and while, distributing the packets of warm clothes, my eyes caught a glimpse of something familiar. That man in his late twenties was sitting in a group of elderly people. Though, his curly hair looked rough, but his black eyes had still got a same shine in them. I instantly recognized him in my blue jacket.

The sight took me down into a memory lane.  The view of my Hostel room and the face of my roommate appeared in front of my eyes.   That was my favorite jacket and I admired its blue color. My roommate always wanted to wear that jacket, but I was possessive about my belongings. I even not allowed him to touch my things.  And, then the day came when he finally got a chance.

As soon as our last semester ended, the student started to pack their luggage and one day when I woke up I found he was gone. I ran towards the closet and found that he had also taken my blue jacket.

It had been some five years, but deep in my heart, I was still mourning the loss of my favorite jacket. And, now I could see it in front of my eyes.

I had a strange feeling that he had recognized me and I noticed that he was trying to appear as if he had not seen me. Controlling the emotions of my excitement, I took a deep breath and went towards him. My presence startled him, but I smiled and passing him a packet I said,

“Keep it, you need it more than me”.

Holding that packet in his hands, I saw dampness in his eyes and right at that moment, I heard a call for prayer. The Muezzin was saying “Allah ho Akbar” the God is great.

I looked above and felt a tiny drop of rain on my cheeks. I had never realized, that world is full of human sufferings and I had learned a lesson that if my tiny possessions could bring happiness to these faces then what’s the use of keeping them and boasting about them.

(In 2005 the massive earthquake of 7.6 struck the northern areas of Pakistan. The sweep of destruction was heart-rending. The above story is an inspiration from a real incident that I read in a newspaper.

Today, the people of Nepal are in need of our help. Please extend a helping hand to your Nepalese brothers and sisters.)

The Highest point in life!

highest

Today’s Prompt: Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What’s the first word that jumps off the page? Use this word as your springboard for inspiration.

Dear Life,

I have always dreamed of conquering the “highest summit” and as, a school girl, I used to admire the seniority of the college girls.

For me, the college was superior but when I reached University, I realized that I was still a student and to achieve the high rank in life, I had to put a lot of efforts.

I remember admiring my teachers and then you gave me a chance to teach my Alma mater not once but twice.

Yes, I taught in my school and then in the same college in which I have been taught. That was a prestigious position and that was a great achievement but after some time I realized that that was not my destination. It dawned on me that no matter what, I had to move forward in my life. So, today’s prompt remind me of all those decisions which I have made in my life.

Dear Life, I must admit that with all these opportunities in life, you have always remained kind to me.My typical human nature has never allowed me to remain contented in life. I have a passion to go higher, I have a desire to achieve my dreams and I’m enthusiastic about doing “impossible” in life.

My dear Life, you have taught me to take a step forward not backward.

So, keeping an eye on that “mountain peak”, I’m still moving forward and my thirst for conquering the highest peak in life has not been satiated.

And, here I am making a firm decision that despite all the obstacles I’ll never cease to move forward. I’ll never look back and like a valiant warrior I’ll keep on fighting and the day will come when I’ll ascend that distant “mountain peak”.

Thank you for all the sweet and bitter experiences. I have learned a lot from you.

Yours lovingly

(Image Courtesy: Google Image)

A memory from my school days.

school days

 

 

 

 

 

Sitting in my classroom I was observing my teacher. As, she called the student’s names, they went to receive their report cards. I watched their faces with envy, remembering my poor result last year.

Since, then I worked hard but was still afraid.

I couldn’t hear my teacher call my name, and a nudge from my friend startled me. With great difficulty, I walked towards the table. The table was only ten feet away, but it seemed farther to me.

Time seemed to stop. My heart thumped wildly and my hands shook when I received my result card. My teacher was saying something, but I was so nervous that I couldn’t hear her.

Soon, a thunderous applause brought me from the darkness of my fears, and I heard my teacher say, “Splendid job.”

When I opened my result card, I discovered an A+ grade, and all my fears evaporated.

Now, I felt as if I were floating in the air. I heard the chirping of birds. Perhaps, they were also congratulating me on my success.

I was glad that my hard work paid off.

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My little sister!

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That foggy day of December 25 is associated with the birth of my little sister. She was so soft that she looked like a stuffed doll. Her hair were golden and she was simply adorable.

We were all very excited. We captured each and every moment of her life. Here is the picture of her first baby food.

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The appearance of her first baby tooth was a great fun. She was drinking water from the glass when we heard the unusual sound of ” tick tick”. That was a moment of great joy for us. We simply celebrated that unforgettable moment.

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She loved to play with dolls and my father used to bring stuffed dolls for her.

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She was quite happy on her first day at school. Here is her picture on her first day at school.

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She loved to go outside. Parks had always remained her favorite place for outing.

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My mother used to sew special frocks for her. Here is a picture of my sister wearing one of the beautiful frock sewn by my mother.

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Her birthdays have always remained a special occasion for us.

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Recently she has turned 13. She loves to write and she is quite good at cooking. I guess she is more mature but she is still afraid of Maths and to this day I haven’t found anyway to minimize her anxiety for Maths:)

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Time flies quickly and we don’t realize it. So, I have decided to refresh those lovely moments of joy and happiness.

This is my way of showing my love for my little sister.

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Stay Blessed and always remember me in your prayers!