Monday, September 5, 2016

You can save a life

This is National Suicide Prevention Week. When I tell some people this, some of them ask me what they can do. Some are willing to walk to raise funds and a few people wondered about why there would be a need to have a week set aside for suicide prevention. They get surprised when I show them the statistics. They did not even realize that for some people life is very difficult and unhappy. 

I learned about the hard realities of life for a teenager when one of my very close friends took her own life just a year before our college graduation. Everyone thought that she was a very funny girl,  a very good student ,very helpful and outgoing. No one could ever think that she would not care about her own life. No one knew what went on in her mind. If only she knew that there were people who would be willing to help her deal with her problems she could have been alive today.Many people who feel suicidal are experiencing a treatable mental health condition.   I always hope and pray that there is help for people who are feeling suicidal and now I know that American Foundation For Suicide Prevention is the answer to my prayers. I am asking my family and my friends to visit their site and see what they can do. 

My daughter is fundraising for this foundation for her birthday. If you are able and interested, you can donate here: But even if you can't donate, just starting a conversation can make a difference for someone.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Never Forget

I learn a lot from my children. A lot of times I wish that I could share the things I learn from them with my friends including my blogger friends. The following post is written by my daughter who is very sensitive about people who have suffered whether in the present or in the past. Needless to say my knowledge and outlook about the Holocaust has changed with time. Today I learned that the words "Never Forget" have a special place and a special meaning.

2016 has been a rough year when it comes to losing well-known (and well-liked) celebrities, and while I was a fan of many people we lost this year, it wasn't until the passing of Elie Wiesel yesterday that I felt compelled to ask my mom, "can I write a guest post on your blog?"

I remember reading Wiesel's Night in high school and looking back, I don't think I fully appreciated the significance of such a work. I would also have to describe my trip to the Holocaust museum in DC in the same manner. I understood what it was all about, and I felt for the victims, but I didn't truly get it. Teenagers aren't known for being the most compassionate beings, so I suppose I shouldn't kick myself for not having some heightened sense of empathy at fifteen.

As an adult I do have a greater sense of understanding of what it was all about, but I don't know if we can ever really get it. Because even for the most empathetic of people, the pain we feel is secondhand. And that's a good thing. No one should ever have to experience that magnitude of suffering again.

But there is a side effect in that we begin to forget. I remember going to see Twelve Years a Slave with my older brother. My immediate reaction upon exiting the theater was "I feel privileged." I wasn't talking about any sort of racial or social privilege, but rather a privilege of growing up in an era where the atrocity of slavery no longer existed, at least not in the US. It was merely the subject of history books now.

But while slavery may just be a subject people read about in their school texts today, it doesn't change the fact that it was a real thing that happened to real people. And those people may not be alive today, but their stories were real and those stories matter.

And the same is true of the Holocaust. When I was in high school, the student chapter of Amnesty International would read the names of Holocaust victims over the loudspeaker on Holocaust Remembrance Day in April. At that age I took it to be a tribute, a remembrance of such an unfathomable atrocity. As I got older I also realized the whole "don't let history repeat itself" aspect of it.

But more importantly, we need to remember the people. The eleven million people who were killed during the Holocaust were not a collective unit. They were eleven million distinct individuals, all with their own loves and dreams and fears and senses of humors and idiosyncrasies. And while we know the stories of some of them, such as Elie Wiesel or Anne Frank, there are so many more stories that go untold.

It still happens in today's day and age. When we hear of attacks happening around the world, or even sometimes in our own neighborhood. We mourn for our countries, our civil and religious liberties.

But please remember to mourn for the individuals, too.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Signature Pads

A lot of people know that leaving our signature behind on a random piece of paper is not a safe thing to do, even if it is some kind of receipt. Most of us are happy about the signature pad and feel that our information is safe in some kind of magical and unreachable place.  At least I used to think that until a week ago when I looked at my credit card bill where there was a charge of eleven dollars and ninety nine cents, that I could not understand. It is not a big amount and the store was one that I usually shop at. The strange thing was that there was a suffix that said, "VIP Pass" next to the name of the store and a telephone number was mentioned in the credit card statement.  So I called that number to ask what was going on and why was I charged 11.99, when I did not even shop on the date (or the month) .  The customer service lady said that I had signed up for a VIP pass  that was free for a month and then I would be paying 11.99 every month. So I asked her when did I ever do such a thing. She then explained to me that when I made a purchase, I had opted yes for this "VIP Pass".  Needless to say I was worried and was thinking that I am losing it.  I still did not believe that I would do something and not know it.  I told her to cancel my "VIP Pass". To that she said that I have to give her the "VIP pass" number or my credit card number . I had no "VIP Pass number and I was not about to give her my credit card number. I went to that store to see where I can get that "VIP Pass" number. The manager was very helpful, but was not able to help me get that number. He could not locate even a transaction done by me for that month in the register. Then I was left with no choice but to cancel my credit card number. 

 Later on I looked up the "VIP Pass" and saw several complaints on Yahoo.

 I feel bad for the store manager. That is one store that I always like to go to find neat and cool gifts, for my children and grand children. The store has things that make fans of Star Wars, Star Trek very happy and a lot of new and old shows and movies, for all age group fans. I might still shop there but using cash only.

I know that most of the time we see options like 'cash back" yes or no or even 'amount correct' yes or no ,but now I know that we have to be very careful about hitting yes even on the electronic signature pad.Product Details

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Have a heart

"In New York, tomorrow starts today," they say. I wonder if this is pertaining to just getting jobs done or also in reference to the wear and tear of human beings, body and mind alike. We are all trying to work ahead of our times. Some of us cook too much ahead of the meal times, some of us write our bills earlier than we have to so the post office delays do not jeopardize our credit, and needless to say we do our holiday shopping and mailing way ahead of time. Some of my younger coworkers are saying that they are aging faster than people of my generation. I always tell them to slow down. Their response is that they do need two jobs just to pay back their student loans and their rent. They say that they cannot even dream of buying a home. I suggest that they can live at home until they have some money saved up so they can make a small down payment, this way they can move in their own place and financially get stronger. Also this way they can put a little extra on their student loans. A lot of young people are underemployed as well. Someone with masters degree is working in retail and some with a BA are still working in fast food. However they feel that it is the rite of passage that since they are in their late twenties they cannot live at home. They would be looked down upon as well. I wish that I could tell their parents to let their adult children live with them regardless of what the society's standards are. As long as they are willing to behave as responsible adults I think it will be better for both the parents and the children alike. As far as the society's rules are concerned the most important of all is to have understanding and feelings for the suffering of young people today.

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I was telling a coworker that  I am guilty of being a slacker when it comes to writing the post about "Valentine's Day."  She said I was not, because as long as I care for others it did not matter if I am late in writing a post.

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Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Hopes Not Fears

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A couple of years ago, a coworker of mine told me that her sons are afraid of having children or even getting married because the world is ever changing and they might not be good parents. I asked her what are they afraid of. She said that her husband did not understand when her kids wanted to be like their friends and her kids were never given permission to do certain things even when they were harmless. I could relate to her to some extent. However I was never afraid of having to raise children. I always had a desire to have children. I wonder if men are afraid of having children because the society puts the burden on them of providing for the kids. Another coworker said that some men feel good about being the provider. Yet another coworker said that his daughter is afraid of having kids not because she and her husband have to provide for them, but because they might not be able to understand what goes on in the kid's mind and what if the kid does not fit in the "in crowd." Later on my daughter had to explain to me the meaning of "in crowd."  I have no answer for the young woman's concerns. I come from a simple family where children thought that they were lucky to be able to read and write. I understand that here in the USA children have a very complex life when it comes to school life. I understand that even in India things are changing very fast. Just like here in America kids want mobile phones. So, everywhere in the world, are all parents responsible for problems that kids are going through or only certain rich parents? A very old customer told me that the differences between rich and poor will always be there, except nowadays, the social media is making it even harder for people who cannot give their children all they want. The inferiority complex is deeper. I still say that we should not fear but plan and work out things and hope for the best.

Product DetailsProduct Details2013 MINI Cooper Hardtop Vehicle Photo in Oakhurst, NJ 07755

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

One extra step

Product DetailsI had decided that I would not write a disturbing post so early on this year. However the news of the missing kid's search ending in tragedy was on my mind for the whole week. The more I thought about his tragic death the more I got upset. I knew that I had to write a post, but I wanted to make it useful and helpful for people who have children and especially for people who have children with some kind of special need. So I talked to different people who could share my feelings about the hardships parents have to face today when it comes to raising children, making a living and wanting to have a good time on occasions. Having knowledge can help people take steps. I did not even know until I heard on the television that most autistic children are fond of bodies of water. They are fascinated by water and are drawn towards swimming pools and lakes etc. I also learned that community homes that house autistic children have staff that is very well trained and dedicated and stay awake all night to make sure that a child does not get up and walk out. A friend of mine who is a supervisor for CNAs and PCAs told me that their patients are very young but are very comfortable with the staff because they are there all the time. Most children are shy of strangers and autistic children are more shy and aloof. So even if parents want to keep their children at home and not want to keep them in a community home what they can do is get their children acquainted with well trained staff by bringing them to the centers one or two days a week. This way if they are planning on having a party or are busy some other way, they can call the staff the child is familiar with. Having the peace of mind because your child is supervised is so much better than keeping him entertained with a laptop or a tablet to play with.

Most of us have used television cartoons on Saturday mornings and during gatherings to keep our children entertained. I would say that we were fortunate that our children did not walk out of our home. A loved one who is a pediatrician says that any kid can walk out of a home if not supervised, not just an autistic child.

Ten Things Every Child With Autism Wished You Knew