A cup of coffee on the wall

Radiant readers!

I came across this very interesting story while I was going through my Facebook’s News Feed and could not resist to share it with all you lovely people out there. This might prove to be the eye-opener you were waiting for. I do not take credits for this awesome piece of work and am sharing this out of utter respect for the original writer (I wish I’d have known him/her).




I sat with my friend in a well-known coffee shop in a neighbouring town of Venice, the city of lights and water. As we enjoyed our coffee, a man entered and sat on an empty table beside us. He called the waiter and placed his order saying, ‘Two cups of coffee, one of them there on the wall.’ We heard this order with rather interest and observed that he was served with one cup of coffee but he paid for two. As soon as he left, the waiter pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying ‘A Cup of Coffee’. 

While we were still there, two other men entered and ordered three cups of coffee, two on the table and one on the wall. They had two cups of coffee but paid for three and left. This time also, the waiter did the same; he pasted a piece of paper on the wall saying, ‘A Cup of Coffee’. 

It seemed that this gesture was a norm at this place. However, it was something unique and perplexing for us. Since we had nothing to do with the matter, we finished our coffee, paid the bill and left.

After a few days, we again had a chance to go to this coffee shop. While we were enjoying our coffee, a man entered. The way this man was dressed did not match the standard nor the atmosphere of this coffee shop. Poverty was evident from the looks on his face. As he seated himself, he looked at the wall and said, one cup of coffee from the wall. The waiter served coffee to this man with the customary respect and dignity.  The man had his coffee and left without paying. We were amazed to watch all this when the waiter took off a piece of paper from the wall and threw it in the dust bin. Now it was no surprise for us – the matter was very clear. The great respect for the needy shown by the inhabitants of this town welled up our eyes with tears.

Coffee is not a need of our society neither a necessity of life for us. The point to note is that when we take pleasure in any blessing, maybe we also need to think about those people who appreciate that specific blessing as much as we do but they cannot afford to have it.

Note the character of this waiter, who is playing a consistent and generous role to get the communication going between the affording and the needy with a smile on his face.

Ponder upon this man in need….he enters the coffee shop without having to lower his self-esteem…he has no need to ask for a free cup of coffee…without asking or knowing about the one who is giving this cup of coffee to him…he only looked at the wall, placed an order for himself, enjoyed his coffee and left.

When we analyze this story, along with the other characters, we need to remember the role played by the wall that reflects the generosity and care of the dwellers of this town.





Grandparents ↔ Parents ↔ Us!

“We used to call our naana (grand father) ‘Miyaan Jee’. He used to live with our maamu (uncle) and had breakfast at our home daily.”
My grandmother relived her childhood and told me (in response to my inquiry) about how her grandparents had been.

These days, I’m living a more-than-usual blessed life. Reason? My grandparents (naanu and nana abbu) are staying with us for a fortnight. Since I was their first grandchild, I’ve always been their favourite and the most pampered. I shared a very close relationship with my naanu in particular. Even when the whole world was against me (here the world includes my parents too), she stood there in my favour. Now-a-days we’re having a lot of heart-to-heart conversations where she tells me things which I doubt anyone in the world know about her. It has always been like this with me and her, sometimes even my mum and my aunts get jealous of how close we are 😛

I’m writing this all because yesterday I realised something to which all of you might relate. Last night we went to visit a very close relative. She’s usually a very jolly and lively person but yesterday she seemed in a depression. After probing her with various questions, my mum finally got her way. My aunt broke into tears and said, “I have spent last 15 years of my life giving non-stop service to my children. They spoil things, I forget; they misbehave, I forgive; they want something, they get it; they get worried, I get more worried; they are happy, I feel contented. My whole life revolves around them. But I’m sad that I couldn’t do all this for my parents. They did all that for me which I’m doing for my children now and I just couldn’t pay them back.”

I was hearing this conversation and was moved. I could recall a Chinese proverb that time, “To understand your parents’ love, bear your own children.”


I, like many people my age, was selfish and didn’t do anything, ANYTHING at all, for my parents. They were growing old but I was busy exploring my life’s phases. My friends, my happiness, my glooms, my successes, my failures, my, my, MY,…

I returned home with the sulking feeling and kept pondering over the same thing. I couldn’t forget the regret in my aunt’s voice. The feeling of a time lost, an opportunity missed was so evident. I kept thinking and fell asleep.

When I woke up in the morning, I knew the panacea. The only way to lessen this give-n-take imbalance was by giving more. I knew the answer now, “GIVING”. So I’ve started off with giving the cheapest and at the same time the most priceless thing ever, TIME. I know it is impossible to do as much for our parents and grandparents as they’ve done for us but we can at least start by doing our bit.

Now its three generations living under one roof and I’m going to make the most of this precious time!

If any of my enlightened readers have ideas on how I can make my lovely elders feel special, I’m open for suggestions!

To my son, an open letter


Dear son,

I love you. I want you to know that first of all. There are times you may not feel it. There are time you may doubt if you are really loved. There are times I am angry at you. But please don’t forget: I love you.

From the first time I heard you cry, up to this moment you are walking with me to school, the joy I have is still overflowing. Such a creation like you could only bring ecstasy like this. No pets, books, films, or food can even equate the happiness I feel when I’m with you. Please know that. Even if I don’t show it that much.

When you want something, be willing to wait. Know the value of patience and perseverance. I cannot give you all you want. But I will make sure you have everything you’ll need.

I may not be…

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We hate!


When I was 10-years-old, I made a slam book and made my favorite people fill it up. I asked different questions from the people and they answered them for me. Two interesting questions in that book were “who do you love?” and “who do you hate?”, in response to which they gave me names of people they loved and hated. When I put that book in front of my mama, she filled the whole thing out very obediently for her 10-year-old daughter but her response to “who do you hate?” was something that had a fine impact on me. She wrote:

“Hate is an extreme word. I can tell people I dislike but I don’t actually hate anyone.”
That statement has been imprinted on my mind ever since. Then came the time when I was introduced to the real life and then I realized that all those quotations of “be good to everyone” and “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” were not applied here. I also realized that ‘hate’ was a not-so-extreme term and was used very commonly.

“I hate you for not telling me your secret.”

“I hate you for calling me stupid.”

“I hate you for uploading that picture.”

Hate, hate, hate, hate, hate,……………….

And we hate people for minutest reasons without pondering that what goes around comes around too.  Will Smith pointed out rightly, “Hate in your heart will consume you too.”

Now let’s forward my life. 10 years later (2012), I was working in an organization as an intern for two months. One day a misunderstanding occurred and two of my colleagues landed into a fight. When the reason of the argument reached the CEO, she called each one of us and said, “how can you hate each other when you hardly know each other?” This took me back to my mother’s comment in the slam book. I wondered when we don’t fall in love so easily saying that it’s an extreme feeling, how can we so easily declare that we despise someone?

Yes, it is easy to hate and difficult to love these days. But aren’t all good things difficult? Plus love makes you feel good and light from within and hate is such a burden. Correta Scott King says, “hate injures the hater more than it injures the hated.”

Hate infiltrates the heart

The moral of the story?
Who am I to give you the moral?
I, like everyone else, am also one of the culprits who have been contaminating the world with poisonous ‘hatred gas’. But those who are wise will definitely be able to draw a moral out of what I wrote.

Cheers!  🙂

From gloom to glitters

Each morning, I enter my university with a sleepy head. This is the place which has bestowed me with so many achievements, some that overwhelmed me with joy, some which I didn’t even deserve. And on the other hand, has also put me in such melancholies after which a small-town-girl like me could no longer step out of her home. I was among the youngest achievers here and because of my ‘achi angraizi’, started getting the limelight in my very first year. Thus I became subject of criticism and jealousy for many. But that didn’t make me feel superior since all the credit went to the people who supported me and had faith in me.
Then came a phase when I realized that the power of hatred is far greater than the power of love. I call that period of my life “losing”. I was stopped giving opportunities to; I was victimized, fell prey to unjustified revenges; and I was stopped by even my best friends to return to university. There was a time when I was the apple of eye of my family and friends but then came a time when being publicly associated to me became a challenge for them. I always believed that suicides were acts of cowards but at that time, it looked like the only escape to me.
Fortunately, that period lasted for only a few weeks. I then entered a phase of my life which I call “returning”. Things started getting back to normal, or rather I started adjusting with the conditions. People reached out to me accepting me again, some exactly like good old days, some with little doubts in their minds. I was being given opportunities too, reluctantly at first, but then openly and happily.
This story of mixed emotions is the story of my life. A story that is actually a mixed plate having small scoops of happiness along with little bitter reality bites.
So, when my mother wakes me up everyday to start my new day, a flashback of all the good and bad memories passes by me and then I decide that I’m strong enough to put aside the bad ones and live on the support of the goodies.

I can now relate so much with Carl Jung who said

“I am not what happened to me. I am what I choose to become.”