Story from The Art of manliness on Gratitude :

The District of Columbia police auctioned off about 100 unclaimed bicycles Friday. “One dollar,” said an 11-year-old boy as the bidding opened on the first bike. The bidding, however, went much higher. “One dollar,” the boy repeated hopefully each time another bike came up. 

The auctioneer, who had been auctioning stolen or lost bikes for 43 years, noticed that the boy’s hopes seemed to soar higher whenever a racer-type bicycle was put up.

Then there was just one racer left. The bidding went to eight dollars. “Sold to that boy over there for nine dollars!” said the auctioneer. He took eight dollars from his own pocket and asked the boy for his dollar. The youngster turned it over in pennies, nickels, dimes, and quarters — took his bike, and started to leave. But he went only a few feet. Carefully parking his new possession, he went back, gratefully threw his arms around the auctioneer’s neck, and cried. 

How many of us show such gratitude ? If no, let's pick up the phone today, meet up or just message a thank you to someone, who you feel needs to be thanked. A heartfelt thank you, can go a very long way.

Keep living, keep rocking.

Awesome TV ads series #1

Indian advertising arena has produced many gems and won accolades around the world. I thought of consolidating a few and putting it up for everyone to enjoy. For now, I'll focus on TV commercials...

Many of these ads stand out because of the inherent emotional connect it makes with the viewer. The ad postings are in no particular order. The intention of this series is not to rate them or critically analyze them, but just sit back and enjoy them ! And I hope you would like them too. :)

This post is about a series of 4 ads launched by Airtel showcasing unlimited night calls and internet facility. The ads portray this through two characters indulging in some playful conversations, a night before their wedding. These ads are so good that you have to try very hard to switch channels. :)

Watch them and enjoy !

The king's challenge

There once was a king who was going to put to death many people, but before doing so he offered a challenge. 

If any of them could come up with something which would make him happy when he was sad, and sad when he was happy, he would spare their lives. All night the wise men meditated on the matter. 

In the morning they brought the king a ring. The king said that he did not see how the ring would serve to make him happy when he was sad and sad when he was happy. The wise men pointed to the inscription. When the king read it, he was so delighted that he spared them all.

The inscription read - “This too shall pass.“

(Originally, said to be a sufi legend but many versions exist. This version is from here.)

The stone soup

Long, long ago a traveler was visiting a town suffering from a famine. The town's residents try to discourage the traveler from staying the night, fearing that he is looking for food. They tell him right away that they don’t have any food at all, and that he should look elsewhere. The traveler explains with a smile that he doesn’t need any food, and that he was actually planning on making a soup large enough to feed the whole town. 

The town people watch suspiciously as he collects firewood from the nearby forest and lays it in a neat pile on the ground. They also watch carefully as he fills his cauldron with water from the stream by the town's entrance. The traveler builds a fire and places the cauldron of water over it, watching happily as it bubbles. With great confidence he reaches into his bag and pulls out a big stone, dropping it carelessly into the pot of water. He leans close to the pot and sniffs his brew, exclaiming how delicious stone soup is. The villagers are all very interested by now and one by one they check up on the bubbling cauldron.

A man walks by with hunger written on his face and stares down into the stone soup, the traveler says how delicious the soup will be if it had a little bit of cabbage; the man says he has some and runs home, returning moments later with a cabbage, which he drops into the cauldron. Later a woman walks over to the soup, she smells the cabbage and licks her lips hungrily. The traveler tells her how delicious the soup would be if it had just a little bit of carrot; the woman proudly replies that she has carrots growing in her garden and she rushes off to collect them, when she returns she drops the carrots into the soup. 

Throughout the day this episode repeats itself until the soup has cabbage, carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, and of course, the big stone. Eventually the traveler takes the stone out of the soup and proclaims that the stone soup is ready. Everybody help themselves to a big serving and enjoys the soup together; they all talk about how delicious it is. Plenty of soup remained in the cauldron after the feast was over, and so the town was relieved of their famine.

Keep living. Keep rocking.

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