“Two Friends” [Conversations]

One Friend:

How about living a thoughtless day,

forget the nuances and just be away,

no tears, no fears, no smile on face,

no fights, no love and no grimace?

Other Friend:

If no tears and no smile on face,

then the life will be such a disgrace,

thoughts and nuances build us from within,

without them the life won’t just begin.

* * *

One Friend:

For a day let’s not have any friends,

I don’t want someone who just pretends,

no parents, no siblings, just all alone,

do what you want, that should set the tone.

Other Friend:

Life is all about friends, parents and siblings,

in life’s unending space, they are the fillings,

don’t listen to your brain, you are being misled,

without all this, you are simply a living dead.

Book Review: This Is All I Have To Say…

Book is of 93 pages only but takes 2-3 reading to understand it fully and a life time to experience and preach something like what “Swapan Seth” has written in this book.

Right from Love, Failure, Money, Leadership to Parents, God and Moral things, Swapan has whole heartedly pin pointed his take on everything. As Tarun Tejpal has to say about the book, “The stuff every parent would love to tell their children”, this is really a good book to read. I have felt myself saying “This is what my mother says to me” while reading the book. More than philosophy, Swapan has actually lived these lines in his books. (This is what is my understanding) because my mother is not very philosophical kinds but she has seen the world outside and has lived the hard and sweet times, so its more of a experience talking than the philosophy 🙂

Major one liner in the book will make it clear why this person is so successful in Advertising industry. And those one liners are not just elegant to read but deep in thinking or as he says Graceful. Swapan has pin pointed the exact feelings of your heart. You may not be able to express it and Swapan does that job for you. You read some lines and you go, “Whoa! This is exactly what I feel or this is exactly what my parents tell me”. Swapan has managed to say it more gracefully and articulately what our ancestors said long back. He gives some examples from his own life in every chapter of this book and makes it more lively and touching.

This is a must possess and must read book. It’s worth every penny. Your mindset will change next time you come across certain situations, that’s for sure.

As a Child…


As a child, he always found,

Every burning flame to be catchy,

The mud on the ground as eat worthy,

Running out of clutches of hands as try worthy,

And not getting what wanted as cry worthy.


As a child, he always found,

The colour of skin, not a hindrance in friendship,

The disability, not a barrier in relationship,

The excellence, not a stopper from mending boundaries,

Money, not a mean to differentiate standards


As a child, he always found,

Nature to be real friend and guide to wisdom,

Books to be real path finder to the World,

Parents to be the real friends and philosophers,

Education to be real thing and not just degree



Submitted to March Challenge 21 – Child’s Level

Falling Fertility Rate in India…

One of the boons for India in recent times is “Falling Fertility Rate”. Though this is a boon for India the reasons behind this falling fertility rate should be understood. I read one article about falling fertility rate globally in Indian Express today. The reasons written there were apt for global view but were somewhat less as compared to India. So I thought of enlisting some more reasons those are responsible for falling of fertility rate in India.Fertility rate

1) For almost all of the 20th Century (that is 1900-2000) an average single family wanted a baby boy instead of baby girl. So they had babies till they bore baby boy. This was until 1970’s. The in-laws were also particular about having baby boy than baby girl. This caused a huge difference and acted as catalyst in rising the fertility rate.

According to a book “Population in Asia” by Warren C. Sanderson and Jee Peng Tan,

in 1980-1988 fertility rate in India fell from 4.4 BPM (Births Per Mother) to 4.0 BPM. Again in 1988-1991, fertility rate fell from 4.0 BPM to 3.6 BPM. Thus on as average, the total fertility rate fell by 0.05 births per year between 1980-88, and more than twice as fast, 0.13 births per year between 1988-91.

Thus we can see that as the mindset has changed towards having any baby than particular baby boy. Thus taking the fertility rate further down to current 2.72.

2) People in India are becoming more career oriented now-a-days. So they are happy with even a single child so as to balance their work and family life. Even a single baby is enough for them to take care of.

3) As economy is emerging fast and its becoming hard to cope up with the pace of economic boom and competition, people are more and more drifting towards the mindset of having less children.

4) With increasing stress and work load, health of people is deteriorating rapidly making them physically less fit to bear more than 2 children. Not that they are expected to bear more than 2 children, but they find themselves incompetent. Less physical capacity and aftermaths of having a child has made it more complex thus dragging the fertility rate down.

5) In India, education is becoming more of a premium thing than the basic need. With even nursery schools asking payment up to Rs. 20, 000 and more per year, education seems to be for privileged only. It’s becoming more and more difficult for parents to educate their children and that too in some good school and college. That’s why current mantra of parent’s is “Less the number of children, more is the probability of educating them properly” thus bringing the fertility rate further down.

6) Also marriage of a daughter is becoming an one-time affair unlike in the past. So people think of making it more valuable and memorable. So “Less the number of children (especially girl) the more the probability of making her marriage more valuable and memorable.” This can also be one of the reason why the fertility rate in India is falling down.

These are some of the reasons of dropping fertility rate in India. Well the dropping fertility rate is really a boon and as people say “Nature takes care of it’s balance”, nature here is taking care of rising population.

Currently India is at 82nd number with rate at 2.72 BPM.

The rival China is at 157th number with rate at 1.79 BPM.

The fertility rate in India has reached to Replacement Rate so I reckon this rate should continue with a slight modification on the negative side.

Debit card for children – Is it necessary???

I have grown up in the family where money is not easily lent to children. For lending money various questions are asked first and a stricter criteria is used while offering it. Especially I have gone through it. My mother never used to give me money without asking me where and how I am going to spend it. So it kept a check on the expenditure and monitored the correct usage of money by me. I used to have only 10 or 20 Rs in my pocket even in my college days.

Sometimes I used to think why such things are done with me? I had some rich friends too. So imitation was very obvious thing when I was in school and college even. I used to get bugged at such behaviour from my mother. My other friends used to come to school by mopeds and bikes and I used to ply by cycle, others were having rich watches and I was not having any, they always used to eat out and I only sometimes used to have something to eat out. It’s not that my mother couldn’t afford these luxuries. But she strictly kept me out of all the cobwebs. Soon after I also realized the very necessity of such behaviour.

I now understand it is very hard not to provide things to your children even though you can afford those. It takes skin of rhinos to act like that. But those things are for the good of children only. These things teach about managing in the provided money, not spending unnecessarily on anything, setting priorities for going after things. In the future life these things help a lot. Because you are not likely to encounter very friendly life. So at one point or other you will have to come across harsher times. And this teaching helps in those times. In future you may have limited resources and have to prioritize things, and if you had very leisurely life and always got money as much and when needed, then you are mostly likely to fail the task of prioritizing.

The thing in question is money lending easily to children, and debit cards are the easiest way for that. Is it really necessary to provide your children with debit cards? Given the current conditions of theft and robbery, children will become easy targets. Extortion is now a days very common and by application of this thing it will surely rise. Plus we all know that while taking out money from ATM centers many people have encountered threats of somebody coming and by using gun or even a knife for that matter can get steal money from you. Even an adult can not protest this thing and how can a child protest against it? Have anybody thought of it?

We have seen the outcomes of providing mobiles to school and college going children so that they can be constantly under watch. There are more misuses than uses of such things. Now a days children have started to bunk schools and colleges as no parent reaches out to teacher and ask about their child, because they can easily call their child and ask whether he/she is in college/school or not. And cases of lying have increased reasonably after the provision of mobile phones. Similar things may happen with debit cards also. There are more misuses rather than uses.

So it is up to parents whether they wan to spoil their child or not. It is up to them only whether to provide such things and face the consequences of it or not. Is it really that necessary? I have also lived my childhood, and I don’t feel any need of having such things. Conditions have changed now, agreed, but instead of providing 10 Rs (as we used to get) provide 50 Rs or 100 Rs for that matter.

Think over this and act. But if anybody asks me, my answer will be a big NO. There is NO need to provide debit cards to children.

Prasad B. Kulkarni

Navi Mumbai.