Sunday, May 4, 2014



Of all relationships, that of siblings is the most sacred. This bond starting with ones childhood, is worth nurturing for various reasons. Besides sharing parents, siblings have the laughter, the tears, the fun and frolic of growing years that make up a montage of pleasurable memories. I love remembering the arm twisting tactics I resorted to, to make my four siblings acknowledge my position in the pecking order! As we grew older, we had many rollicking years, gorging on the yummies made by mother; making fun of the idiosyncrasies of friends or relatives; finding ways to hoodwink father into letting us go for a movie…As one by one, we slowly moved out of the nest, to get married/to study, we have continued to keep the link. Our kids and their kids have taken the cue and hopefully, the trend will continue. I think parents play a key role in keeping siblings together. They should be nonpartisan and be fair in apportioning their attention and property. Most siblings tensions arise out of inequitable distribution of wealth and affection. Parents would do well to keep this in mind before writing their Will. Besides, more than a legacy of brick and mortar or bank accounts, the treasure they should leave behind is sibling oneness. I thank my parents for their invaluable gift to the five of us. 


Gandhiji said a person is not fully dressed till he/she wears smile. It is so easy to do so and spread a bit of sunshine. A smile uses less facial muscles than a frown. Yet, why do we see so many sour faces around us? The first time I went to the US on an assignment, it was a long walk from the apartment to the studio where I worked in Manhattan. The first day, it was uncomfortable to smile back when strangers waved a cheery ‘Hi’ as they passed. But the bug caught me and it was so much fun, every morning, smiling and greeting all kinds of people. By the time I reached my work spot, I felt so light and peppy that the long hours just slipped past. I find women are more reluctant to smile than men-especially at other women! They are wary of each other and hesitate to smile and establish eye contact. A smile from the eye is what really releases the good feeling-in the one who flashes it and the one who receives. As someone put it, a smile is a curve that straightens relationships!


Smokers are injurious to health-of-non-smokers. Smoking Kills. Every year, more than 400,000 deaths are attributed to smoking. It’s banned in restaurants, workplaces and other public areas. It’s illegal for cigarettes to be sold to anyone under 18. Yet, smokers puff away with no concern for non smokers. Reports state secondary smoke causes lung cancer and respiratory diseases-but who cares, say the puffers as they light the next one-right under your nose! I have often ticked off fellow passengers on the train/bus for smoking and only get a glare as they take deep drags. Smokers are insensitive to the comfort of others and shamelessly enjoy every puff as they huff like the wolf did with the three pigs.