“Natural” Salmon Sushi

The other day my 3.5 yr old son and I were watching a Salmon swimming in a creek. It was a lovely specimen: Pretty, agile, its long tail flourishing with each stroke…

Almost as soon as my son saw it, he said “Mommy, but where’s the rice? Inside his tummy?”

…You know, from all the sushi he’s had!

by Priyanka Joshi

Source: Monsoon Masala: Indian Immigrant Community of Seattle

The Broken Pot

In a certain place there lived a Brahman by the name of Svabhâvakripana, which means “luckless by his very nature.” By begging he acquired a quantity of rice gruel, and after he had eaten what he wanted, there was still a potful left. He hung this pot on a nail in the wall above his bed. As night progressed, he could not take his eyes from the pot. All the while he was thinking:

This pot is filled to overflowing with rice gruel. If a famine should come to the land, then I could sell it for a hundred pieces of silver. Then I could buy a pair of goats. They have kids every six months, so I would soon have an entire herd of goats. Then I would trade the goats for cattle. As soon as the cows had calved, I would sell the calves. Then I would trade the cattle for buffalo. And the buffalo for horses. And when the horses foaled, I would own many horses. From their sale I would gain a large amount of gold. With this gold I would buy a house with four buildings in a rectangle.

Then a Brahman would enter my house and give me a very beautiful girl with a large dowry for my wife. She will give birth to a son, and I will give him the name Somasarman. When he is old enough to be bounced on my knee, I will take a book, sit in the horse stall, and read. In the meantime, Somasarman will see me and want to be bounced on my knee. He will climb down from his mother’s lap and walk toward me, coming close to the horses hooves. Then, filled with anger, I will shout at my wife, “Take the child! Take the child!”

But she, busy with her housework, will not hear me. So I will jump up and give her a kick!

And, buried in his thoughts, he struck out with his foot, breaking the pot, and painting himself white with the rice gruel that had been in it. Therefore I say:

He who dreams about unrealistic projects for the future will have the same fate as Somasarman’s father: he will find himself lying there painted white with rice gruel.

(Pantschatantra)

The Innocence of wisdom that children can teach us

image483.jpg
Once there was a scientist who lived worried about the problems in the world, and was decided to find the ways in which these could be less. He would spend days and days in his lab searching for answers with no results. Then one day, his seven year old son invaded his sanctuary, set upon helping him in his task. The scientist, nervous about his son’ s interruption, asked him to go play outside. Seeing that it was impossible to get him out, the father thought of something to give his child to distract his attention. Suddenly he found a magazine in which there was a map of the world! With scissors, he cut in several pieces the map, grabbed some duck tape and gave all that to his son and said: “Since I know how much you like jigsaw puzzles, I am going to give you the world all cut into pieces so that you repair it all by yourself”. The scientist thought that it would take the child at least 10 days to repair the map, but it didn’t happen that way……

Just after a few hours, he heard his child’s voice calling him in a
serene way.

“Dad, Dad, I finished repairing the whole map.” At first the father didn’t believe his son. He thought that it was impossible that at his young age, he could repair it without ever seeing it before. Sceptical, looking away from his scientific writings, he directed his sight towards the map that his son had repaired. He was certain to find a job made byjust a kid. Surprisingly, he noticed that the map was very well put together, with all the pieces placed in the correct place. How was that possible? . How was the child capable of doing such a good work? The father with much amazement asked his son: “My child, you didn’t know how the world was , how did you do it? And the child answered:

“Dad I didn’t know how the world was…but when you took out the map from the magazine to cut it into pieces, I noticed that in the other side, there was the shape of a man. So I turned each little piece and started to repair the man. When I was able to repair the man, I turned it to the other side and saw that I had repaired the world.”

picture by Jean-Luc Michel

Story of a Drummer

Once there lived a drummer near Varanasi. Hearing that a festival was being celebrated in the city of Varanasi, he went there along with his son to play drums before the crowd. Thus, he earned a great deal of money.

On his way back he had to cross a dense forest infested with bandits. His son, however, overjoyed with his earnings kept on playing the drum incessantly. The father, however, cautioned him against the possible attraction of the bandits by the excessive drumming. He instead advised him for the occasional drumming, which could keep the robbers away by thinking that some local chieftain was on a journey along with his armed men.

The son did not listen to the advice of his father and kept on drumming in his joyous mood. Soon the robbers noticed the sound and caught them. They then beat them and ripped them off what they had.

Thus what was gained by the skilful drumming was lost by the excessive drumming.

Excessiveness is bad; and restraint is a virtue.

(Jataka & Other Stories of the Buddha by C.B. Varma)

A Fairy-tale about Kolobok – script for a puppet-show

An amazing fairy-tale about Kolobok

and the Magic Flower

(FOR CHILDREN FROM LITTLE ONES UP TO TEENS)

a play based on the motives of a Russian folk fairy-tale

by Yelena Mikheyeva and Elvira Ahtyamova

Kolobok* – is a personage of a Russian fairy tale. It is made of bread-stuff and it looks like a ball with a face.

The fairy-tale was shown on the stage as a puppet-show by Kazan Sahaja-Yogis, Russia

Scene 1

(The sun is shining brightly in the blue sky. There is a birch grove, a small village in a distance a bush of roses is seen on the foreground.)

Kolobok (sings):

I go and I sing,

the sun shines in the sky.

what a beautiful thing

to live in the wide world !

if I meet someone

on a wood path,

we’ll be friends and I shall go

to search for new friends.

(He stops near a rose bush).

– Ah, what a beautiful bush! If I want to get friends, that means I should like them. And how shall I like them? Now I shall tear these flowers and I shall give them to everyone I’ll meet, and nobody will refuse from my gift and will be a friend of mine. (Tries to tear a flower off).

Rose Bush:

– Ah, don’t touch me!

Kolobok:

– What is this? (He tries to tear the flowers off again)

Rose Bush:

– What are you doing ? Don’t touch my roses!

Kolobok:

– Who is speaking? There is nobody nearby.

Rose Bush:

It’s me, the Rose Bush. Don’t break me, it hurts me. I am growing here at the road and showing my beauty to passers-by. And the broken flowers will wither quickly and will not give anybody a lot of joy.

Kolobok:

Nonsense! I need your flowers! (he tries to tear a flower off again, and the rose bush hurts Kolobok with his thorn). Oh! (Kolobok cries). What is it? So beautiful and so prickly! How shall I find friends now?

If I have nothing, nobody will want to be friends with me …

Rose Bush:

– What strange thoughts! Do you really think that you get friends in exchange for something – for a sweet or for something else?

Kolobok:

– Certainly.

Rose Bush:

– Remember, true friendship arises only when love and kindness reign in your soul, to everything that surrounds you. And you become like a fine flower growing on our earth. This flower which grows in you, such tender and fragrant, such pleasant, that everyone who surrounds you is attracted by it and becomes a similar flower.

Kolobok:

– Oh ! You speak so charmingly! How can I become such a flower?

Rose Bush:

– Look around. Look, this world is so beautiful, look at the sun and at the sky. If you want to awake this fine flower inside you have to ask for it. And just feel how your heart is filled with love and joy.

Kolobok:

– The flower of love and good, please blossom in my heart and reveal yourself above my head !

(Sounds of music, another rose flower rises above Kolobok’s head).

Kolobok:

– Wow! I feel something growing inside me and growing so highly. Yes, that is the beautiful flower! Thank you, rose bush! Now I know what can I present everyone who I’ll meet with. Good-bye! (He goes away, sings a song).

Scene 2

(A bear is sitting and holding his hand on his stomach; the song of a greedy Bear is sounding).

Kolobok:

– Hello!!!

Bear (angrily):

– What do you want here? Continue reading “A Fairy-tale about Kolobok – script for a puppet-show”

Cloudy with a chance of meatballs

This is the title of a hilarious kids’ book I read my son tonight before he dozed off. The town of “Chewandswallow” has great weather which rolls around bfast, lunch and dinner. It rains food, people don’t have to cook for a day and they don’t even own refrigerators! My son thought it was the coolest thing to not have to cook and I agreed with him completely :).

The funniest part was when he saw hotdogs raining from the sky, he had to stop and ask me, “Mommy, is that squid on the hotdog?”I’m used to hearing a lot of new words and thoughts from him but even I did a double take when I heard that. How imaginative! On another thought though, I think he’s on his way to being a gourmet. Sigh.

Source: Indian Journalist in America blog

Elephant

elephant(sufi wisdom)

An elephant who belonged to a group of vagrant artists appeared not far from the city the people of which had never seen elephants before. On hearing of such a miracle four curious citizens decided to get permission to see the elephant before the others. As there was no light in the stall where the elephant was kept, they had to examine the strange animal in darkness.

Having touched the trunk, one of them decided that the creature reminded a hose. Another felt one of the ears all over and made the conclusion that the elephant looked like a large fan. The third happened to touch one of the elephant’s legs which he was able to compare only with a natural column. And the fourth having put his hand onto the elephant’s back was sure that the creature was like a throne.

elephant 

None of them could make the complete picture on what each of them had been able to touch. Thus, each of them considered only himself right.

Does it remind you something in the modern world?

How love can influence the future

Years ago a John Hopkin’s professor gave a group of graduate students this assignment: Go to the slums. Take 200 boys, between the ages of 12 and 16, and investigate their background and environment. Then predict their chances for the future.
The students, after consulting social statistics, talking to the boys, and compiling much data, concluded that 90 percent of the boys would spend some time in jail.

Twenty-five years later another group of graduate students was given the job of testing the prediction. They went back to the same area. Some of the boys – by then men – were still there, a few had died, some had moved away, but they got in touch with 180 of the original 200. They found that only four of the group had ever been sent to jail.

Why was it that these men, who had lived in a breeding place of crime, had such a surprisingly good record? The researchers were continually told: “Well, there was a teacher…”
They pressed further, and found that in 75 percent of the cases it was the same woman. The researchers went to this teacher, now living in a home for retired teachers. How had she exerted this remarkable influence over that group of children? Could she give them any reason why these boys should have remembered her?

“No,” she said, “no I really couldn’t.” And then, thinking back over the years, she said amusingly, more to herself than to her questioners: “I loved those boys….”

Source: Bits & Pieces – June 1995 Economics Press

What to Do if Problems appear

(A story for elder kids and their parents)

A professor began his class by holding up a glass with some water in it. He held it up for all to see; asked the students,’ How much do you think this glass weighs?’

’50gms!’ …. ‘100gms!’ ……’125gms’ ……the students answered.

‘I really don’t know unless I weigh it,’ said the professor, ‘but, my question is:

What would happen if I held it up like this for a few minutes?’

‘Nothing’ the students said.

‘Ok what would happen if I held it up like this for an hour?’ the professor asked.

‘Your arm would begin to ache’ said one of the students.

‘You’re right, now what would happen if I held it for a day?’ Continue reading “What to Do if Problems appear”