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Thirsty Crow and the Crow and the Fox

“The Thirsty Crow and the Crow and the Fox”, is a fully illustrated book for children between the ages of 3 and 5. It contains two popular folk tales from India.

“The Thirsty Crow” is about a clever crow that finds a resourceful way to drink water.

“The Crow and the Fox” is about a wise crow that outwits a fox, by not giving into flattery.

It is a 26 page book, fully illustrated, with easy text in order to appeal to little children, as they learn their first lessons of life. Continue reading “Thirsty Crow and the Crow and the Fox”

Computer Basics Tutorial – Free Download

Photo by Andrew Neel on Pexels.com

While volunteering at a local chapter of the HOC (Housing Opportunities Commission), I created these tutorials for adult students. Before creating the learning/teaching material, I asked the Program Coordinator for guidance.  She simply said that I should create the sessions with my mother in mind. 

That’s just what I did.  These sessions are designed for those who have no knowledge about working on a PC and have trouble using the mouse/keyboard. There are simple exercises and even a pop quiz to keep these sessions lively.

I am posting these files in hopes that it would help someone trying to understand the basics of the PC. These sessions are designed primarily for teaching. Yet, it could also be used to self-learning.

Tutorials are based on Windows 2007, sessions created in early 2011. Some minor adjustments might be needed for the current version.

There are two .zip files to download. Here are the details.

  • Computer basics1.zip contains the following files:
    1. Computer basics-1.pdf
    2. Computer basics-1 notes.docx
    3. mouse-keyboard reference.pdf
  • Computer basics2.zip contains the following files:
    1. Computer basics-2.pdf
    2. Computer basics-2 notes.docx

Bharathiyar Poem Translation – Prayer to God

Prayer to God

(Original poem by Bharaithyar)

How many crores1 of joy You fashioned!
Our Lord! O, Lord! O, Lord!

Spirit with matter – You melded
To forge the Five Elements,
Creating Heaven and Earth,
All those worlds, a treasure of colors –
A profusion of resplendent beauty.

Blissfulness is a state You created,
Where the awakened soul is fully realized,
Piety is a state You created –
Our Supreme! O, Supreme! O, Supreme!

1 – One crore is equal to ten million units. Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poem Translation – Prayer to God”

Bharathiyar Poem Translation- The Heart cannot Endure

National Songs

15. Current State of the People of Bharatham1

(Original poem by Bharaithyar)

1.  The heart cannot endure
Dwelling upon fickle minded humans,
Who live in deathly trepidation –
There is nothing in this world that doesn’t frighten them;
‘Wily ghosts’, they claim,
‘Dwells on this tree, lives in that pond,
‘Sleeps on the roof’s crest,’ – distress themselves,
In rumination, frighten themselves.         (The heart…)
Continue reading “Bharathiyar Poem Translation- The Heart cannot Endure”

Butterfly Dance

In this strange year of pandemic upheaval, where life has been upended and kept us largely confined to our homes, I received two memorable gifts.

One, was a set of masks made by a friend. She made it from a saree. The light cotton mix material, double layered, with pockets for filter stitched meticulously by my thoughtful friend to show off the pretty pattern.  She made seven of them Continue reading “Butterfly Dance”

The Almighty and the Mighty Virus

Satire — When Religion meets Reason

Michelangelo, creation — sun, moon and stars, source: Wikimedia

Science and religion are on a collision course again in this pandemic, with news about God’s faithful congregating for worship and defying lockdown orders. While not all the religious are blind in their faith, a vociferous minority seem to believe that God will protect them from the virus because he is bigger than the virus. There can be no doubt that God is bigger than the Covid-19, because He created the novel Coronavirus just like He created us. Hence, it is logical to assume that the Creator is bigger than the creation.

Continue reading “The Almighty and the Mighty Virus”

Bill Gates — The Nostradamus of Pandemics

The Hypocrisy of Philanthropy

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

It is all over the news how Bill Gates predicted the current pandemic some years ago. The man is not an epidemiologist or a doctor, but one of his many charities focuses on pandemics. Therefore, he has become a Nostradamus for predicting this pandemic and the ones in the future.

I wonder if he foresaw how the Trump presidency would turn the greatest democracy on earth into a banana republic, because the federal government’s efficiency does play a critical role in controlling the epidemic.

Continue reading “Bill Gates — The Nostradamus of Pandemics”

Ramblings on a Word – Anathema

Viewpoint

branches
Image by Shelly Paul

Anathema – much despised, accursed

Today, I read a news headline about how the world has been brought to a standstill by COVID-19. This type of news headline is not uncommon in times of great calamities, where planet Earth and human beings are used interchangeably, as if these words are synonymous, as if we are the world.

I find myself using these terms interchangeably and bite my tongue as I realize my ignorance stemming from the arrogance of being human, because as grand is the human ego, we are not the world. We are just one species on this magnificently intricate planet and as such we belong to the Earth. The Earth does not belong to us.

Therefore, the world has not come to a standstill because of the novel strain of the Coronavirus, humanity has come to a standstill which is actually a good thing for Mother Earth and our sibling creatures on this planet. Continue reading “Ramblings on a Word – Anathema”

When I like what I like…

Character Soliloquy¹ — Social Media

An aging dandelion with white tufts, ready to be blown away, in blurry green background with, blurred leaves.

Image by Shelly Paul

I like what I like and I don’t have to like anything else, 
Dictate the designers of social media.

If I like only what I like and if I don’t have to like anything else,
Then I don’t have to know anything else that I don’t like.

If I don’t have to know anything I don’t like,
Then what does truth or reality matter?

Continue reading “When I like what I like…”

Flower-heads — Hard Lesson in Gravity

Small Town to Big City Experiences

Monochrome image of a train at a station, with a mother and son on a platform bench.
Image by Shelly Paul

I grew up in small communities, where everything was within walking distance, where most faces were familiar even if they were unacquainted. Moving from one such small town to the neighboring Chennai city was a new, unexpected experience.

To go from an idyllic life to the noise, the traffic, the crowd and the sheer size of the city took a little getting used to. One curious scene that held my attention were the public buses during the morning rush hour.<!–more–>

These vehicles were so stuffed with people, that the door-less entryways at both ends bulged with passengers who hung from the steps known as foot-boards. The effect made these buses look like incredibly pregnant organisms as they creaked and groaned, precariouslylop-sided, as they wound their way through the city, lurching from one bus-stop to the other. When such a bus slowed to a stop, the people hanging on to the footboard — who were mostly men — spilled onto to the street and jogged a few paces before they came to a complete stop. That sight held such fascination for me.

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At that time I was taking the local metro train to work, which sometimes came in the same fashion. That morning however, the train was not crowded, but I was running late. As the train approached the station, I got up from the seat and moved to the door-less entrance of the compartment and waited impatiently for the train to come to a stop. The wait felt interminable as the train slowed down next to the platform. In my haste, without thinking clearly, possibly propelled by the image of the men spilling out of the buses, I jumped out of the still moving train. Instead of slowing down with a slight jog like the spilling-men, I came to an abrupt stop.

The next thing I know, there were flower-heads hovering over me. They had gathered around me, with their heads towering over me in a circle, with sunlight streaming through. There were all kinds of flowers, some of them wore their long hair in a single braid and were wearing sarees, others had short hairs, some of them had beards and mustaches and were wearing shirts and pants.

They were looking down anxiously. All the flower-heads had mouths and those mouths were moving. They were trying to say something. What were they saying? The voices were coming in clearly now and I was able to hear them. They were asking if I was alright and if I needed any help. Help? Why would I need help? What happened to me? Where was I? Why was I horizontal instead of vertical?

Realization dawned on me. In jumping out of the moving train and coming to an abrupt stop I had broken one of the sacred laws of physics, and right then and there, as punishment, gravity felled me landing me flat on my back on the hard, concrete platform. I must have had a mild concussion or something, because I seemed to have blacked out, which was probably when the crowd gathered around me.

When I came to, there I lay, horizontally on the hard concrete floor of the train station, looking up at flower-head people who were looking down at me with anxious faces, asking me if I needed any help. ‘Help?!’, My wounded pride reacted in my mind, ‘Help me? Me? Who was full of life, filled with youthful vigor of a twenty-year old. I don’t need any help, especially from some who were old enough to be my parents.’

As embarrassment unhinged it jaws and began to swallow me, I shot up straight, like an arrow from the floor scattering the flower-heads. I responded to their concerns brusquely, by saying I was fine. I dusted off my clothes carelessly, trying to pretend that the powers of gravity had no effect on me, without even bothering to glance at my elbows and knees that were scraped raw. Still, I couldn’t shake off the staring eyes.

So, I started with slow, measured strides, head held high, face stoic, stubbornly refusing to wince from the angry red bump that was growing on my forehead. A few paces later I darted out of the station as fast as my full-of-youthful-vigor-legs would carry me, trying to soothe my wounded pride which hurt more than my body.


© Lekha Murali 2019

Word Makeover — Polyamorous Relationship

Promiscuity gets a Glamorous Makeover

Photo by JOSHUA COLEMAN on Unsplash

The word ‘promiscuity’ seems to have gotten yet another makeover. Last time it was called ‘open relationship’. This time, it got glammed up as ‘polyamorous relationship’. I do think this sounds way glamorous than ‘open relationship’, which frankly sounds a little on the nose.

Let us try to understand the term. The word ‘poly’ means many or multiple and the word ‘amorous’ means horny or lustful. Therefore, the word ‘polyamorous’ could mean ‘multiple-horniness’, which I am hoping would be the next new word for promiscuity. If horniness multiplies itself constantly, then there is no time to commit to an earnest relationship. So, let’s drop the word relationship, because that word seems redundant. So the word is polyamorous.

Continue reading “Word Makeover — Polyamorous Relationship”