Monday, March 24, 2014

A FATAL BITE


                        Around 50,000 people are reported to die of snake-bite every year in India. Now a polyvalent anti-snake-venom-serum is available in most of the Indian hospitals. This antiserum (antivenom) counteracts the poisonous venoms of the four most common poisonous snakes of India –Indian cobra (Naja naja), common krait (Bangarus caeruleus), Russel’s viper (Daboia russelii) and saw-scaled viper (Echis carinatus). Victims of snake-bite can be saved if brought to hospitals without delay.
                        A person was walking along a bushy passage in an Indian village when he accidentally stepped on a poisonous snake and was bitten by it. He cried aloud. People rushed to the scene and carried the victim to the main road expecting to get a vehicle to carry the victim to the nearest hospital. Meanwhile some of the villagers spotted the snake. They threw stones at it and then beat it with sticks till it became motionless and apparently dead. They quickly transferred the snake into a briefcase and entrusted it to the persons who accompanied the victim to the hospital. They hoped that the treatment would be more specific and effective if the type of snake was known by an examination of the dead snake.
                        On arriving at the hospital, the patient was shifted to the casualty room. The briefcase carrying the beaten snake was placed near the door of the casualty. The doctor informed that he would examine the specimen after examining the victim and administering the essential treatments to save the victim’s life. The bystanders were anxiously waiting outside, actively discussing the tragedy.
                        A thief was wandering through the hospital hoping to steal some valuable belongings of the patients. The briefcase placed near the casualty door caught his attention. When no one was noticing him, he snatched the briefcase and swiftly moved out of the hospital. Reaching a lonely spot, he opened the suitcase expecting a fortune. But unfortunately, the wounded snake gave a sharp bite on the hands of the thief and wounded him. He cried aloud, but there was no one in the isolated spot to hear his cry. He fainted, fell down and met his death without receiving any medical care.
                       “Do not steal” is one of the ‘Ten Commandments’ in the Jewish religion. Stealing is specifically prohibited in all the Holy Scriptures.
                        The wise king, Solomon, teaches us, “Wealth that you get by dishonesty will do you no good, but honesty can save your life. It is better to have a little, honestly earned, than to have a large income gained dishonestly.”                        
                        The sin of stealing includes dishonest business practices, cheating, evading of taxes, refusing to repay debts, plagiarism and keeping unauthorised property.
                        We take every effort to preserve our treasure on earth. We waste a major share of our time, health and energy to amass fame, wealth and glory. Jesus Christ taught, “No one can be a slave of two masters; he will hate one and love the other; he will be loyal to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”
                        The love of money is a source of all evil. Money may fetch us amusement, but not happiness; a bed, but not sleep; books, but not brains; a car, but not safety; companions, but not friends; education, but not wisdom; flattery, but not respect; food, but not appetite; a house but not a home; luxuries, but not culture; medicines, but not health; ornaments, but not beauty; a violin, but not music. Money is like sea water; the more we drink, the thirstier we get.
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 © By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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BEAUTY AND UTILITY


                             One evening, a thirsty deer was feeding in the forest. He was happy to see a pond nearby. He bent down to drink the water. Looking into the clear and still water, he could see his reflection. The sight of his attractive and alluring antlers made him proud and happy. He then noticed his long, thin and skinny legs. Sadly, he said to himself, “These legs are so ugly and do not match my majestic and appealing antlers.” Suddenly he sensed the approach of a wolf.
                             The stag ran at top speed, knowing that the wolf was fast chasing him. He suspected that other wolves in the pack would have spotted him and joined the race. His long and slender legs helped him to run at a great speed. He ran with all his might and reached much ahead of his predators. But unexpectedly his antlers got entangled in the branches of a bushy tree. He tried but could not free the antlers from the branches. He pulled with all his strength but all his efforts were in vain. Finally he made a frantic attempt and luckily could release the antlers just before the wolf could reach him. He made another frantic run for his life and could fortunately outrun the wolf.
                             Reaching a safe spot, he turned back and found that the predators had given up the chase. He sighed with relief and thought how foolish he was in praising his pretty antlers and cursing his ugly legs. Gratefully regarding his long and lean legs, with great appreciation, he remarked, “These legs are really lovely. They saved me while the dangerous antlers would have caused my death.”
                             Appearances may be deceptive. All that glitters is not gold. The Bible teaches, "Charm is deceptive and beauty disappears."
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 © By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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This is Story No. 208 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A TALE OF TWO FISHES


                          A big fish and a small fish lived in a large pond. The big fish was proud of his size and strength and used to laugh at the small fish. He mocked at the small fish boastfully, “How dare you talk to me? You are too small and silly. I am so strong and stout. You are too tiny and frail. It is a shame to say that you belong to the family of fishes.” But the small fish loved his big brother and respected him. Suddenly a net was lowered by a fisherman to catch the fishes.
                          Both of them were caught in the net, but the small fish could easily escape through a mesh of the net.  The large fish was caught in the net, entangled and entrapped in its meshes. The small fish saw sadly his big friend being caught in the net and raised from the water. The net was carried to the land. The haughty big fish jumped in vain to escape. He lost his breath and perished. But the small fish swam silently across the pond to a safer spot, worried about the fate of his friend.
                          Pride leads to destruction, and arrogance to downfall. No one is respected unless he is humble; arrogant people are on the way to ruin. Pride goes before a fall.
                          The Bible teaches that everyone who makes himself great will be humbled, and everyone who humbles himself will be made great.
                       A famous proverb in Malayalam may be translated as:
“Water flows to a lower land;
Grace of God to a lowly mind.”
                          D. L. Moody said that God has two thrones: one in the highest heavens, the other in the lowliest heart.
                          It is sometimes safer and sweeter to be small and insignificant. Ben Jonson (1572-1637), in his famous poem on true growth, comments on the contrasting characteristics of a little lily and a gigantic oak tree. He concludes,
“A lily of a day
Is fairer far in May.
Although it fall and die that night,
It was the plant and flower of light.
In small proportions we just beauties see;
And in short measures life may perfect be.”
                          Humility is the greatest of graces. Humility is a strange quality. The moment one thinks he has it, he loses it!

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                 © By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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This is Story No. 207 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.  

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

HEAVENLY HOME


                      A great teacher of ancient India was teaching his students about the futility of life and the reality of death. He found that most of them were afraid of death. So he told them a story:
                      Once upon a time, there was a shipwreck and four members of a family escaped by holding on to a wooden log of the shattered ship. The waves carried them to a desolate island. The four persons who were washed ashore examined the island and started a new life using the resources available in the isolated island.
                      Months passed. One day, a stranger visited the island in a small boat and invited the father to accompany him to a safe and happy land. Everyone wanted to board the boat, but the stranger told them there was space for only one passenger in his boat at present. He consoled them and said that he would return soon and carry the others too. Months later, the stranger arrived in the same boat and carried away the mother, promising again to return later to carry the children to the promised land. The stranger arrived one day and carried the elder son away. The younger son was sad to be left alone and wanted to accompany his brother, but the stranger refused to carry the youngest child with him. He promised that he would return soon to carry him. Finally the stranger came and carried the youngest son to the promised land of peace and prosperity.
                      The teacher asked the students about the moral of the story. As they could not answer, he explained the allegory himself. The island is the world where every person is entitled to live for a definite period. The stranger is ‘death’ who arrives at unexpected moments and carries away our souls to the heaven of happiness prepared for the righteous by God, the Creator. The world is a temporary shelter to prepare us for an endless life of bliss in our real home in constant communion with God, our loving Father. Death arrives at the last moment of one’s life and may carry only one soul at a time. The others are left behind on earth with the hope that one day they too would be led to the Promised Land. The boat is represented by the coffin which carries the dead to the grave and the departed soul is led to heaven. Let us be ready to receive Death, the stranger as the carrier to a better land, a world without worries. Let us not fear his arrival which is inevitable. For those who lead a righteous life on earth in accordance with the Sacred Scriptures, life after death is in a heaven of happiness and so death is not a fearsome event.
                      The students were enlightened and lost their fear of death for ever. It is said that when we are born, we cry and the people around us rejoice. When we die, people cry, and, if we are saved, we rejoice!
                      Calvin Miller said, “Death is but a temporary inconvenience that separates our smaller living from our greater being.”
                      Sir Walter Scott said, “Is death the last sleep? No, it is the final awakening.”
                      King Philip II of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great, had appointed a servant in his palace, with the duty to meet him every morning and greet him with the words, “Philip, remember that you must die.”
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                      © By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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This is Story No. 206 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

PERFECT PEACE


                         A teacher of English language was giving a dictation to the class. The students were asked to write down the words dictated by the teacher. Those who write every letter correctly, without any error in spelling would receive a prize. The teacher started the test by announcing the first word – ‘peace’. The students began to write. A bright and brilliant boy stood up and asked the teacher, “Madam, I know three words pronounced similarly. Which of these should we write? The boy meant the similar sounding words – ‘peace’, ‘piece’ and ‘peas’. The teacher forgot that a test was in progress and tried to make her point very clear, “It is p-e-a-c-e peace” she announced. There were roars of laughter.
                         During a painting competition in a school, the students were asked to paint a picture on the theme, ‘peace’. Two paintings were selected from the entries for identifying the final winner. The scrutinizing committee of experts examined the two paintings critically. One painting portrayed beautiful scenery. There were lofty mountains covered by luxuriant green vegetation and a calm lake with still water reflecting with clarity the green mountains and the beautiful blue sky with fluffy white clouds. Around the lake were shown green trees bearing fine fruits and fantastic flowers. A pretty bird was enjoying a safe rest in a nice nest on a tall tree with no disturbance. Every part of the pretty picture portrayed perfect rest.
                         The second picture displayed barren mountains and a wild and disturbed sky with dense black clouds and bright lightning indicating a heavy thunderstorm. An angry waterfall was raging with a torrential stream of foamy water on a rocky hillside. The trees had bent their branches in response to the intense and violent wind. In a cleft in the huge rock, a tiny tree was shown with a small nest on it. Within the nest a small bird was seated, with a slightly opened beak, obviously singing a melodious music, in a state of perfect peace though surrounded by the ferocious forces of nature.
                         The experts examined the two pictures and awarded the first prize to the second picture. Perfect peace is being calm in one’s heart while in the midst of all unavoidable disturbances, troubles, hard work and noise. Real peace is not the state of rest one may enjoy in serene and silent surroundings without any disturbance or distractions. The peace of God will keep us in peace in the tempests of life.
                         A popular proverb in Malayalam, “Malakal ilakeedilum mahajanaanaam manamilakaa” may be translated as:
Mountains may move; but the minds of masterminds never waver.”              
                         Peace rules the day when God rules the heart.
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                 © By: Prof. Dr. Babu Philip, Darsana Academy, Kottayam-686001, Kerala, India ( Former Professor, Cochin University of Science & Technology, Fine Arts Avenue, Kochi-682016, Kerala, India), Prof. Mrs. Rajamma Babu, Former Professor, St. Dominic's College, Kanjirappally,  Leo. S. John, St. Antony's Public School, Anakkal, Kanjirappally and Neil John, Maniparambil, Ooriyakunnath, Kunnumbhagom, Kanjirappally, Kottayam-686507, Kerala, India.
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This is Story No. 205 in this site. Please click ‘Older Posts’ at the bottom of a page to read previous stories and click 'Newer Posts' at the bottom of a page to read newer stories in this site. Please click on a word in the 'Story Themes' to read stories on that theme.