#JusJoJan 2018- January 22- LIBERTY

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As reply to this prompt, from Just Jot It January by Linda G Hill.

The first thought was visions of what might have happened during the French Revolution and the fight of the French for Liberte, Egalite, and Fraternite. The novel

” A tale of two cities” gives quite a graphic account of this fight and I can see Madame Lefarge knitting away and watching the city of Paris burning. Do I believe in Liberty?

Of course, I do but perhaps not of the type that is obtained by the curtailing of another person’s liberty. America is considered the land of Liberty and the land of the Free. The Pilgrims first came there, to be able to practice their religion and establish a land with the liberty to do their own thing. To a large extent, it is still a land where one can do one’s own thing and where one has the liberty to become quite successful at doing one’s own thing.

The Statue of Liberty at the confluence of the river and the huge seas again raises up pictures of the symbolism of liberty it brought to migrating people from all over the world. Many of those people worked hard to make America the land it is now and brought with them cultures and traditions from their native lands. They came to America, maybe to escape persecution or to get a better future for themselves. They took great risks for liberty. Many of them gave up their old lives, for the sake of liberty. Does liberty mean changing oneself so completely that one is un-identifiable from one’s old self ?

These thoughts lead me to the words of Jesus and what he means to us. Doesn’t he preach liberty of a sort ? Belief in him and following his teachings in our lives should be liberating in that we should not be care worn any more. Liberty to me, is being free of care too. If someone else was willingly offering to carry our loads, be it a new country or a human or God himself, wouldn’t all of us aspire to reach there ?

I think Liberty is a goal every human being strives to reach. He may not see it as such or call it thus but I call the human life itself a reach for higher things, for Liberty.

What do you think ?

The rules for the prompt can be found here.

JustJotit January Day 21 : Silence

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I love silence. At home, it seems most of the times, my house is silent. The cat does not speak except when he is hungry, when he lets us know or when he needs the door opened. Otherwise, the house is silent.

Silence gives me time to think and think more. There is fun in thinking.

About six months back, I went home to help my parents during my mother’s surgery. I am a noisy person, though I like silence. I talk and sometimes I am the only one that talks at my home; it seems like at my parental home too, I am the person who makes the most noise other than my niece of course. My father had to go out for something one day and when he came back, he asked my mum, why is there a silence at home? My elder daughter was there too and she heard him say this. She laughed at this and told me later that even grandpa thinks I am the noisy one at home. It is strange that silence is often experienced when there is the absence of noise.

At night, the computer and WhatsApp give us the bleeps that again break the silence of the night and nights are supposed to be silent, right?

Today is Day 21 of #jusjojan and the prompt is Silence.  The prompt comes from Willow who blogs at willowdot21. 

Rules and prompts can be found here.

 

 

 

 

 

JusJoJan Daily prompt- Jan 29- History

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History has always been my favorite subject. Then how did I become a student of science, you may ask. Well, the answer would be I was interested in learning the history of science and later Medicine. I love history.

It is said that anything that happened a moment ago is history. I remember this surprising me as a child when I read it in the Encylopedia Brittanica. How can something that happened a moment ago or a day back be history. Yet it is true.

Which part of history fascinates me ? The era of the British Raj is one of my favorite historical periods. I love stories of history about the undivided Indian continent that had almost open borders till modern Afghanistan and Bangladesh on the East. When I think of history the book that I thought of first was ” The Far Pavilions” by M.M.Kaye.

I loved to read about how Edward Jenner tested the cowpox vaccine on a 8 year old to prove theory that cowpox somehow protected against smallpox, a scourge of the time.

I also loved to read about the discovery of the Helicobacter pylori bacterium in the early 1980s, ( in our times), by Marshall and Warren and proved beyond doubt that duodenal ulcers were bacteria caused and not really due to lifestyle issues.

Isn’t history interesting ?

How about our current time ?

The Brexit made history but I would say the fact that there was a Prime Minister willing to give up his job because of the Brexit vote is one of the most notable events of our current times. And again, a 70 year old man beating all odds and predictions to become President is another event that would stand up in history. The day a woman leads the US would be a great day in the history of that country.

We can learn from history and mistakes others made, so we don’t repeat them ourselves. But that doesn’t always work out that way. Sometimes human beings have to learn by making the same historical mistakes again themselves, before they change their behavior, if they do.

We can learn from history and use it to our benefit. Students are often bored by history but I think our teachers need to love history before they can make their students love history.

 

 

 

 

#JusJoJan Daily Prompt- Jan 26/17- Extraordinary

My husband is going on a 6 month sabbatical to study  liver transplants at Singapore. He has been having qualms about going there or anywhere for that matter. He has a cushy job here and makes a fair deal of money- has good work colleagues and has a fairly devoted patient clientele, who pay visits regularly. Being a person who dislikes change, he hates to leave all that and go back to being a student at 54, soon to be 55.

In a moment of rashness, he sent in an application to the Singapore hospital asking if they would accept him into the course, being too old that he thinks he is.

The Singapore program application process is vigorous to say the least. The application was scrutinised at all levels and after about 6 months, he found he was accepted to the program. By then, regrets had started setting in. But he decided to talk to his current boss as a first step. The boss told him not to resign his job but to take a year’s vacation off from work here and pursue whatever his heart told him to. What a wonderful boss ! One hurdle cleared.

Then came the governmental paper work and regulations that needed to be followed for a doctor to get a license to practise in Singapore. That required governmental paper work from here to Singapore. A few hitches occurred but everything got sorted our extraordinarily.

And again, finances- who would support him while he was in Singapore ? The course is without pay and Singapore is not a cheap place to stay in. That sorted itself out too, extraordinarily. He had paid leave of so many months which would give him a monthly pay till his course ended. Extraordinary !

Then accommodation. We had no clue as to how to do it. Just happened that on one of his trips to Singapore he met a man, who happened to have a whole apartment building which he rented out and it was near the hospital. He rented us a one room apartment, which is all we need at this time – expensive but doable. Extraordinary !

My husband who had never probably cooked a thing in his life, not having need to, suddenly has shown an interest in learning to cook, though with not much enthusiasm. He can do a decent chicken and cook rice, and make rotis too. So he may not starve. Eating out is not an option for him as he is not fond of Chinese food, so its either that or learn to cook. Learning to cook is no mean feat for him. Extraordinary !

Finally, the day is near. In four days time, he will be a student again- after about 15 years. It will be an extraordinary experience.

What I wanted to emphasise here is that he wanted to quit ever since he applied and has been regretting his application but things are all going the other way for him( against his wishes), he seems to be put in a situation, which will make a student out of him again. All hurdles were moved out of his way, extraordinarily.

In the natural course of things, if things are right and they are meant to be, no force on earth can stand in the way of things. Like the Biblical story of Jonah. Jonah was a reluctant preacher. He never wanted to go to Nineveh- he had better things to do but he set out on a reluctant journey and fought every inch of the way with God until he was swallowed by the whale and then he saw things as God saw them and wanted them. And he cooperated and saved one of the biggest towns in history. Nineveh, I have read, is twin city to Mosul in Iraq.

 

#SoCS and #JusJoJan Jan. 21/17-Glass

 

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My daughter has been wearing glasses for about 2 years now. It seems to be a side effect of modern school life- homeworks have to be done referencing from computers, printouts for projects from computers, teaching in school on the white screen which is an ACER board and so on. Her eyes glassed over one day and she said, Ma, I can’t see any more. And then there was a visit to the optometrist who said she needed glasses and her eyesight would worsen with the passing of time. A depressing news, to be sure and not one to be glassed over. Then we started her on a nutritious diet of carrots and carrot juices, less TV and computer time( we did her homework which was to be done using computers for her) till we have ensured that her vision did not progress for now.

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Her father uses glasses too- has all his life. I have started using glasses in my old age and again this seemed to have been accentuated by my constant use of the computer and the TV screen. And these increased times sitting or lying down has had a direct consequence on my waistline and my body shape from has gone from hour- glass to a glass that runneth over, in all directions.

hourglassIn the kitchen, my helper boys, always seem to be making mincemeat out of my glasses. Each day I hear tinkling of glasses and wondering if they are having a party in the kitchen, I run down, only to find that they have had an accident and have broken, yet another glass. I am now laden with sets of odd glasses and when guests come, they wonder if I need a change of glasses when they see the glasses I serve them their juices in.

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My daughter has a narrow head. She wears glasses all the time, or at least is supposed to. A 17 year old, does not enjoy wearing glasses, all the time. There are times when the width of the glasses and her head shape do not agree and at those times, her glasses fly off and land on the floor, which is hard and unforgiving. In a matter of 2 years she has gone through one Givenchy, one Ralph Lauren and a common glass frame. Her father in his enthusiasm got her new glasses which were branded but what are brands to a 17 year old ? She enthusiastically set out breaking them. Now she is on her fourth pair of glasses and hopefully her last.

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jusjojan-daily-prompt-jan-19th/17- Rubbish

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I can think of many meanings or uses of the word ” rubbish”. 

One incident from a book I remember is in ” The Five Find- outers in the Mystery of the Disappearing Cat”. A villain gardener threw a lot of strawberry runners which he was cutting or trimming off, on the “rubbish” heap. Beth found them and carried them home and planted them in her little garden, thinking that as they were going to be burnt on the “rubbish” heap, there would be no need to ask for permission before using them. The evil gardener came stomping up her garden, and found his rubbish-ed strawberry plants in Beth’s garden and angrily pulled them off the ground and stamped on them. Beth cried her heart out. As a child, I used to wonder about the cruelty of a man, who could be mean enough to not let a child use his rubbish-ed plant cuttings.

These days, people speak of reduce, reuse and recycle. I am so happy to note and read that a lot of fellow bloggers make it their life’s mission to do so and to make beauty from rubbish. I don’t mean rubbish in a demeaning way but as a word of common usage-something we wouldn’t find any use for. One of these is my friend Kathy at threepsandq.com. She writes an interesting blog and often posts her tips and ways of reusing stuff. Another of my blogging friends who is very much into creative work is Faye of the chicken grandma. Recently she posted about how she made her winter days useful and productive by using her evening time to make covered hangers.

My family is traveling home today and will be out of the country for two days and I promised myself that I would do a yarn bombing project using Faye’s idea and try to use my rubbish yarns to cover up my rubbish-ed hangers, we get from our laundry. A win-win situation both ways.

Thank you, Faye and Kathy for inspiring me to be creative.