Think About It


Celebrating everyday the small things in life

ToddlerIndia celebrated its 66th Independence Day. My daughter asked me, "Why do we just declare a holiday, why don't we actually celebrate?" Does anyone have answers? An elderly leader dies, and we declare a holiday; a vague festival of a small minority of the population, and all public offices close down. Independence Day, and we sit at home watching TV.

Take many one-minute vacations daily

We are trained to excel in our work. No one teaches us to relax correctly. Vacations are at times more hectic than routine working days. How about starting with some daily One-Minute Vacations - chat with a friend, pat a dog, admire beauty, read just a few lines from a good book, fondle a baby, smell a flower, watch a sunset?

Watch the little child as she takes fifteen minutes to cover the fifteen yard distance from the bus stop to her house gate - exploring, inquiring, peeping, laughing, observing. Where does this innocence of childhood go when we become adults?

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy and happy again at nothing. - Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762
Toddler walking home
Images Credit: Left & Right bottom: abbybatchelder, cc-by-2.0,; Right top: ktylerconk, cc-by-2.0,

If you are still not convinced about what I am saying, look at the set pace of nature: the sunset never changes its speed. As the sun nears the horizon, a breeze starts slowly and gently, birds begin their journey home, shadows start merging with their surroundings, and the light fades out - ever so gently. And then, the sun takes its own time to appear, with the darkest hour being the last one before dawn.

By Ali Khwaja

In the dusk of the evening the bird of some early dawn comes to the nest of my silence. - Rabindranath Tagore, Stray Birds
Image Credit: blacktsuba, cc-by-sa-2.0,

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Ali's Thoughts

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Leading Banjara Academy's online email counselling team of volunteer-counsellors, I realize it is not an easy task reaching out to a person one has never met, never seen, without the added advantage of gestures, eye contact, a gentle reassuring touch, tone of voice and yet providing empathy, positive strokes, making the person feel heard and understood.

With the aid of only written words, it is quite a task building trust, making people open up and share and helping them cope and feel better. So when in many instances they write back saying thank you and that they feel so much better, the feeling one gets is priceless and incomparable - knowing one has done something right, something good!

Hats off to all the volunteeer-counsellors of Banjara Academy who have been carrying on this work silently, anonymously for the last couple of years. Truly commendable! - Ali Khwaja

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