Dreams Hope Destiny


Love All Around

Dear Readers,

Thank you very much for your good wishes. I am feeling so much better and definitely recovering much faster.


Pandan Cake

Pandan Cake

A light, very fluffy and delicious pandan cake from Singapore – Malay origin, is what I received on the 1st of the month of cakes & cookies. Do you know what’s pandan? These are specific leaves from a tropical plant Pandanus amaryllifolius used as a flavoring agent. Pandan leaves extract is also used to make kaya jam and many other delicious recipes.

Well, I must mention to you about the wonderful colleagues across countries whom I work with. If you remember my post from July about Singapore trip was the time when I met the folks based there. Since then, there has been an added flavor to my work. Even though we are all based in different countries, there’s so much that we learn from each other while we work and there’s so much of understanding, professionalism, support, care & definitely fun!

The month of October was a time for healing for me and I was away from the office for a while. I missed the remote connection with my colleagues. I missed the “Good Morning..” buzz that’s usually there before I even log-in to my system. I missed the Chinese voices.

Do you know how it feels when you miss some people so dearly and then you come to know that they missed you too; equally…

The cake above was sent to me by my SG colleagues.  I think its the most wonderful cake in the world! It means so much to me…

They also packed for me two bottles of Kaya Jam – they remembered how I relished the Kaya toast while I was in SG and thus they sent some for me to India.

Kaya Jam

Kaya Jam

Authentic Ya Kun kaya is the one – don’t forget to try this one if you ever fly to SG. Its super delicious!

Not just this, they also sent for me the traditional Chinese medicine well-famous from Eu Yan Sang pharmacy. The one they brought for me is “Essence of fish with American Ginseng and Cordyceps extract”. Its mainly to boost the immunity levels and regain strength. You may look it up, perhaps it helps you too.

There are some chocolates parceled too!


Me with Them

Me with Them

This was in Clark Quay, Singapore. They definitely are a fun bunch!

How come? How come I’m so lucky? ha ha..!! Love is all around!!








What’s for the innocent?

On the cozy and cushy couch laid out at the reception area at my music school, sat an elderly lady who looked to be a foreigner. A German I thought. The lady wore a red color salwar kameez which looked gracious and blended well with her skin color. She was busy typing something on her laptop. The only place available for me was next to her. I sat beside her and opened my music sheets to revise my theory.

In about ten minutes time, a tiny little Indian kid ran towards her yelling fluently in German. My guess was right.
The kid then asked me in English, about my schedule. I told him I could understand him if he spoke in Deutsch as well. The kind lady was surprised and we exchanged some thoughts.

My music teacher called me in and we wished each other a happy new year. This was my first class for this year after Christmas vacations. He also offered a delicious cake to me, as a welcome note. Being curious about the Indian kid and the German lady, I was told that she has adopted this little kid. I also heard that the piano trainer is frustrated due to the kids slow performance and has asked the lady to discontinue his music schooling. This was followed by some heated arguments between the lady and the music teacher.

Several thoughts came to my mind. A foreigner, being kind and raising this little Indian fellow and giving him the best education. ( the fact that he spoke such fluent German and our music institute is one of the best & most expensive). May be he was slow in learning the music, and perhaps could have been given more time..

It wasn’t a pleasant scenario to me because I believe music is something not so easy to learn and produce. It needs constant practice. It needs a lot of time, dedication, and of course motivation from others. For kids, its more about learning to enjoy the music and being more confidant because they do not understand the meaning of what they play so well. I have seen other kids and they just produce what is written in the sheets without adding the finesse. Their tiny fingers needs to be trained. They need to learn to handle the big and complex instrument. Its perfectly fine and normal for the learners to take a little longer time to learn and get used to. It was heartbreaking for me to know that they asked this kid to discontinue the school. I heard the lady was disheartened too.

What is your opinion? Do you think if the child is slow he must be discontinued from a school?


Hiding inside, there was a Pearl

It was a perfect afternoon, a perfect one for a journey of hope.
With a light lunch and prayers accompanied by the signs for the unusual or rather, a sign of a flying feather holding good luck searching to attach itself to my hair, I left the home.

I entered the train compartment. As the train started moving, I began losing the sight of my people. There I was again, alone in the crowd.

Before I could take my seat, I noticed those curious eyes waiting to grab my attention. Those eyes, so hopeful, so stubborn, that they would not go unnoticed. I could not help but let our eyes meet, and those eyes returned a sense of satisfaction & relief clearly stating that we have something, within each of us, that the other needs. We cannot let each other pass by, without exchanging something that we must. I have no idea, but it was a strange encounter. Least expected.

Though I was still analyzing the latent thoughts of the subconscious mind, She was impatiently trying to dive into a conversation. I was a little worried about a tiny personal thing, while she continued staring at me just waiting to get that reaction from me which would say, “Yes, you can hello me now”.

She smiled. A very special, a beautiful smile, that at once brought me where I should be. Such a shine! I smiled at her back. I could see that she was dying to make a conversation. The only foreigner in the train, all alone, little amused by the tea/coffee and samosa passerby’s. She needed a company. And so, I asked her where she was going. She said “Hubli”. Now, Hubli isn’t a tourist destination. Moreover, she was alone. What would she be doing in Hubli? I was too inquisitive. I asked her where she came from and she said she is a German who now lives in Scotland. She said she was in Goa for about a week & she was going to Hubli to meet one of her old students!

Well, A teacher who came flying across the oceans to meet her student? I was about to “Wow” and she said, No I am not a teacher. She smiled and said, I was just a mentor. A mentor to someone who needed me once upon a time.

Meanwhile, there was a lot of noise & confusion in the train, people still searching for the right berths, the tea/coffee vendors screaming out loud, the TC shouting angrily to some people & what not! The dear lady could not really understand what was happening & she asked me if she could sit next to me. Why not, I thought. I gave her the window side, so that she could have a look at the country side western mountain range and the beauty of the Konkan parts.

She seemed delighted. I was surprised to see her animated behavior, her expressions, sheer joy & excitement, her eyes would suddenly sparkle if she spotted a stream or the color of the sun rays through the jungle trees or the rail side activities. She asked me several questions about India – food, culture, people, work, colors, seasons, and everything she could possibly think of. She had a great style of speaking. She spoke well!

Such a happy soul, I could not help but inquire about her life. Her story goes like this:

She was born in Germany, to a couple who lived quite an unhappy married life. Her mother being violent by nature, would at times physically abuse her when she would have quarrels with her husband. There was no love, no peace, no life! Her parents showed absolutely no interest in her growth. She grew up, and decided to move out of home. She moved to Scotland. While on her journey to seeking happiness, she came across an organization through which she got a chance to travel to Australia.

While in a small region within Australia, something very special happened to her. She met a whole new world where she could see only happiness. Everybody there was joyous. Tremendous pleasure, love and cheer, everybody was kind and polite, they were all content, they partied, sang, danced. There was everything a person possibly would need to be happy. That place was abundantly blessed, by God. She had an encounter with God, & the people taught her to converse with God, to trust, to build faith. She experienced the wonder. Her life since then was never the same.

She committed herself, to live and work for God, our creator. After that, she has been constantly serving the world, as a Gods disciple. She has traveled 27 different countries. She has touched thousands of lives. Though she has no much financial backing, things work for her miraculously. Sometimes, its so harsh that she doesn’t have a penny to feed herself. She told me few of her experiences where God helped her survive through the thick and the thin. She says to God, “I am doing your work, for the life that you have created, if I need something to be able to do so, you must provide. You need to give me the strength and good health so that I can serve you better, day after day.”

Though she had a very difficult childhood, always beaten up, never being loved, she prays to God day and night for her parents so that their life improves, so that they stay happy for the rest of their lives. She believes that the lost love shall return back to their family some day.

In Scotland, she lives in a beautiful mansion located by the Ocean. She described how she spends her time by the shore.

She got me completely tangled up into a bundle of thoughts. I looked outside the window, and what say! Our train was passing around the famous Dudhsagar waterfalls. I told her to look around, and at once she took out her camera. Oh my! She was amazingly thrilled. I just hoped she did not jump out of the train because she ran to the door and almost hung herself to the doorway with one arm and positioned her camera with the other. She stood by the door until our train completely took a turn around the waterfalls. She told me she loves cascading falls.
After about 20 minutes she returned back to our seat and she said, India is so beautiful! I love the hills, the water, the green and the blue! Her face turned even more pink as she said that and I laughed at her amazement. She continued, “I want to go to Mumbai, I want to see the dhobis and how they work!”. I was awed, I never knew the Dhobis from Mumbai had such a reputation, oh they do..

Meanwhile, Another lady, old enough whose age I could not guess, entered our boogie, panting, huffing, with a walking stick in one hand and an old rugged bag in the other, and a lad helping her reach the right place. She thanked the lad as she settled down and spoke to herself, “So this is the BE-2 coach that goes to Bangalore, and the remaining train compartments go to Delhi. Thank God, I finally reached the right place”. We looked at her, but said nothing.

There was another man sitting opposite to the old lady. She and him seemed to converse a lot while I was lost in conversations with my new German friend.

The train stopped at a station, where the compartments which must go to Bangalore are detached and the remaining compartments start off to Delhi. This process usually takes about 2 hours and the passengers usually get off the train and walk on the platform or try some snacks.

I mentioned about this to my dear friend and at once she got off the train, walked along the platform and spotted a small snack shop where they were selling “madur vada”. She bought some and relished the vadas with chilly sauce. She then walked more and narrated some silly jokes about her previous travels, stray dogs, spicy food and the like. From a distance we saw the same old lady walking quick steps, gleefully, holding something in her hand. She came towards us and said, “There. Both of you come with me. There that person is selling delicious Shrikhand. Why don’t you girls try it out! Come with me”. Off the three of us rushed to the shop and bought three scoops of really yummy fresh shrikhand.

The old lady enquired about us and we did not hesitate to tell her about our life. She then told us that she is a part of a mountaineering club. She returned from New Zealand recently. Before that she went mountaineering in Nepal. She excitedly told us about her adventures, her group, all the people and many more stories. We were so happy to meet her. I just happened to ask her age, and then she said she is 81. A 81 yr old lady, absolutely fit, full of life and energy, filled with cheer! What a gifted life she lives! She says “Your life is how you want it to be”.

It was almost time for the train to leave and we entered our compartment back. Now the four of us quite knew each other, and we discussed certain topics mostly about the travel and general things. Again, the old lady and the man got back to their discussions about topics like political parties, state well-fare and the like. My dear friend and I spoke about friends, marriages, different cultures, employment, career and similar. We had so much fun together. She became very sentimental whenever she mentioned anything about her parents and family and so I decided to keep the topics drifted away. After every fifteen minutes we mentioned to one another that we’re so glad we met, and that there is something special in our meeting this way.

It was the time to dinner. As usual, I had carried my food packed from home. She had placed an order in the train canteen. We waited for her food to arrive which wasn’t too late. We arranged all the containers, mine and hers. She told me that she would like to pray before we start eating. I allowed her to do so, and she said a prayer, aloud, on behalf of all of us, thanking God for the lovely journey so far and to bless our food. She was so grateful. She brought such peace in the chaotic train.

The two of them loved the shrimps and oyster shells which my mother had cooked. We discussed about different cuisines and exchanged few recipes.

It was about 9:00 p.m. The train was moving at a rapid speed. The darkness had fallen. She was suppose to get down at Hubli station which was 2 hrs away. We took a few pictures. We spoke about what we wish to have. About our dreams, predictions, destiny. She told me more about the power of God. She told me more about the service she has been doing, for the poor, the abandoned children, the old aged people, the sufferers. She told me about the education she provides to the people about service to mankind. She also described how she speaks to God and about the conversations. She says, “God is so powerful. God can vanish the suffering from the world. But he wants to do it together with us. He wants us to participate. We must all work and help each other. It is the responsibility of each one of us to help the needy. And we help God”.

Suddenly, her face turned blue. She said, I wish this journey never ends, at the same time she would count minutes to meet her student.

She said, “Sonali, You are so kind. You have a special heart. I want to pray for you. Is there anything you wish to have? Is there anything that makes you sad? or is there any message that you want to convey to God?”

She held both my hands gently. She began praying for me. For a better life, for the happiness in its best, for all the love, for success, for everything she could think of. She asked God to be with me always and never to leave me in loneliness. She prayed that God may always show me a way to victory and prosperity, and bless me with loads of beautiful things.

Though I thanked her, I do not think I could express to her how grateful I truly was and How thankful I was to God, for sending her for me.

It was time for her to leave. Both of us stood by the train door until the train took a halt. Her eyes were shining and she repeatedly said She would miss me, and how glad she was to meet me on her journey. Tears rolled down from her eyes onto her cheeks as she got down from the train. We bid Good-Bye. She was smiling at me, at the same time wiping her tears. The train started moving once again and we waved out to each other until we lost the sight. I stood by the door for the next 20 minutes, without any reactions, only feeling the breeze blowing on my face.

I came back to my berth and saw that the same old lady was laying the bed spreads and arranging the pillows for me. I did not say anything, but only a “Thank You!”. May be she understood something at that point of time.

I wished the old lady a Good Night! I lied there. I could not stop thinking about her. I closed my eyes and within few minutes, tears rolled down from my eyes, uncontrollably.

It was an emotional touch!


A Dialogue with a Zealous Outlander

He walked into the restaurant named “Majestic Indian Veg & Non-Veg restaurant”.  A very small & cramped not-so-tidy place. He took a table in the corner, looked around and found me, alone, composed, lost in the state of tranquility.

Mr. M: Excuse me, Are you alone?

I: Halloww!! Yes..  *smiles*

Mr. M: Would you mind if I join you? (In a soft & slow accent)

I: Yes, Please. I’m glad to see you! (I looked at his backpack) Are you travelling somewhere?

Mr. M: Yes, I am going to Gokarna.

I: (totally surprised to know that the foreigners also visit Gokarna beach? What’s there?).  Where do you come from?

Mr. M: I come from Germany.

I:  And what are you doing here?

Mr. M: I teach. I teach English to children  in a village school, further from Mysore. Its a very small village named Mirle.  I work here for service &  no pay. I don’t earn money here.

I: *Surprised, thrilled, quizzical looks*  Sounds wonderful! How did you end up there?

Mr. M: Through a missionary. We were given a list of Countries to choose. I chose India & I love it.

I:  Where do you live here?

Mr. M: I live with an Indian family in the village. They provide food & shelter to me. A very good family. In fact, I love my village. Everybody is so friendly. They invite me for tea, to dinner, to play. I have many friends. I love the school too. Its a great job!

I: Wow! I can see that you love what you’re doing. But, It must be difficult for you. Are you able to adjust with the weather, food, languages, culture?

Mr. M: I totally love the food here. So many different varieties. I am here since last 7 months. We were taught a little bit of Kannada language because the village kids don’t understand English at all.  The village is very beautiful. We live so close to the nature. I don’t like the city life.

I: Doesn’t the school pay you for the Job?

Mr. M: You see, I do not have complete qualifications. I haven’t completed my Education. I am only 19. I wanted to do a service to the needy world. So I took this up for a year. One year of service commitment without earning any money for it. The school gave me an opportunity to do so. Its such an amazing experience. We are a group of Germans here. Some of us work for the orphanages, old age homes and some of us teach the Children.

I:  How delightful! I’m touched by the passion. And what are your next plans?

Mr. M: After I finish one year, I’d go back to Germany to complete my graduation and post-graduation. After that I will be doing my PhD. I have a long way to go, I have lots to do, for my career. During this one year, the people belonging to my age group are busy at the peak of setting up their career, competing  to get admissions in the best universities, choosing their field of study. But, I took a year off for social service. I have another 30 to 40 years for a job & making money, but now when I have the energy, I want to serve the world.

I: Do you like teaching? Do you see yourself being a teacher/professor?

Mr. M: Well, No. I do not want to be a teacher for my profession. I like auto mobiles design. I will be taking up that line after I go back to Germany.

I: Well, I appreciate that you devoted an important year of your life to service. Its a wonderful experience. And I’m quite surprised that you were allowed to do so!

Mr. M: Right. My mother did not like the idea. But my Dad supported me. He told me. Go, explore the world. See, what life is,  beyond where you are. I’m thankful. I’m very happy and I have no regrets for giving away my important year to the world that needed it more than me.

*** We ordered food together, I was also surprised to see him eat food the Indian style. ***

Mr. M: You seem to be friendly and kind. I’m happy to meet you.

I: I am happy to meet you too. Well, You are about 8 yrs younger to me, and I’m impressed by the work that you are doing. There are ample opportunities in our Country and not many of us pay attention to it.

Mr. M: Are you not worried to talk to me because you are not married to me?

I: *Confused Smile* Worried? Ah! Not at all.. You are not scary 😉

Mr. M: *cute smile* I asked because, in the village the girls don’t talk to the men who are strangers. I also learnt that they do not like love marriages, they only do arranged marriages.  So initially, I was worried to hello you, thinking you might take me wrong.

I laughed to myself.

It was the time for us to leave, we waved each other Good-Bye. I still continued laughing.

What a wonderful lad!


Opening up to spirits

I woke up to a beautiful Sunday morning, realizing the numerous possibilities and inviting the innate energy to take the control.

My housemaid walked in, and I wanted her to do much more than her daily work.  A clean house is a godly house.

Well, everyone needs motivation to work more. I thought, let me volunteer. I made her realize the things that needs attention so that she feels that it really needs to be worked upon & gave her a helping hand. My housemaid, in particular, is a cleanliness freak. So that was it. I lifted the mattresses, while she cleaned the underneath. I took out the curtains out, while she put them into the laundry bag. She finished washing all the utensils, while I prepared tea for the two of us. Thanks to the kind lady, she spared some extra time in my house & also agreed to give me a company for my morning tea.

If there is one thing that hardly interests me, its the movies.  When the whole hangout gang of 25 people plan to go out for a movie, I have to be the only one backing out. Always.  Until I came across the movies for my typeI have been watching movies since then, one after the other, recommended by someone – our choices seem to amalgamate.

I can list some of them for you here:

There are a few more, all of them serve food for thought.

The two days of my weekend were brilliant. Not a minute of frantic. No fretting over anything. For the first time I played more than 20 pieces on the Piano in a day. Sounds Mellifluous?

The first month of the year brought along a ray of light that has brightened up a new path. A very clear vision, for the rest of the year & perhaps a life? Who knows..

A dearest friend wrote to me “When we don’t share just because we think our words are not worthy, or that they’re not exciting enough, or that they’re too ordinary…I think we’re doing a huge disservice to ourselves and the world.  Our ordinary words are sometimes the most precious of all!  And perhaps we’re called to share just because one other person on the planet needs to hear our ordinary words which may feel extraordinary to them.”  

Thank you Kathy Drue, you did incite the strong urge within myself, which otherwise would always remain hidden. That desire to share my thoughts about the days, events, people, things, hobbies and so much more! It feels wonderful! I don’t feel alone anymore. As we discussed, what we think is not worth sharing is sometimes what somebody is waiting to hear.

Let nothing hold you back from exploring your wildest fantasies, aspirations and dreams.

Thank you!


All fun no work

Whatever I’m going to tell you now, please keep it to yourself. Do not talk about it. Ssshhhh….

Be quiet and enjoy the pictures below:

The two standing by the lake gossiping about the new winds.

Guys rafting in the lake, on a pleasant Friday morning.

I spotted the four guys from very far rafting in the lake on a quiet Friday morning. Have they bunked the office? They have no idea I captured them in my camera. It appeared as if they were looking out for something. What were they trying to do? I can just wonder.

Hey Guys, don’t you’ll have any work on this weekday?

What are you doing, they asked. I scurried away from the lake view before they could question me further.

Still Swings. All the children are at school.

This blogger had a lovely conversation with the grass below. The grass said, I love the working days when no one is around here. No one jumps over me, walks over me. Week days are the best times. A time for healing.  Look how fresh I look this morning. During the holidays everyone visits here &  they crush me.They never look at me, talk to me or even say a “hello”.

Grass meditating, grateful for this morning.

I love working days ~Grass

This blogger captured the pictures from a distance making sure not to trouble the grass and quietly moved on. Helpless.

There you are! Tiny Squirrel.

A place of worship. A beautiful temple.

I walked & I walked through & through the lanes. Shakira sang into my ears,

“This is your moment
No hesitations

Today’s your day
I feel it
You paved the way
Believe it

If you get down
Get up Oh oh…
When you get down
Get up eh eh…”

Thoughtlessly I walked further down the beautiful lanes.

No one there. Everybody is at work.

“Go Green” – start from your house.

I have captured some of the really beautiful mansions, without the owners permission. I’m sorry but dear owners, if you happen to see the picture of your house on my blog then its only because I found your house really beautiful. I’m sure you are so kind that you won’t punish me for this. 🙂

A Barbie House

I feel the world’s best Barbie lives in the mansion above. A pretty pink bungalow. Doesn’t it look like one of those mansions from the fairy tales? Would you not click a snap if you’d see it? A strawberry house, with the strawberry cake slab steps and the strawberry cone pillars. Inside lives a lovely princess.

A Beautiful corner house

Pots arranged so well.

Love the shape. Is there any spare room available for one?

Another cake house. Delicious!

Hibiscus. Toppings on the cake.

What’s the secret I spoke about you ask?

Well, while everybody else here was working & working hard & yearning for a break, I went for a photo walk, a lovely lonely walk. All the way listening to Shakira and Shania and Celine Dion and Bryan Adams and ….  The streets were empty, everywhere was peaceful.

My new camera did pretty well.

Of course, I had a lovely day! It was a treat to myself.


Children of Tomorrow

“…Take me to the magic of the moment
On a glory night
Where the children of tomorrow dream away
In the wind of change… ”

And i reached the day when I had paid a visit to one of the charity centers offering care and protection for physically and mentally challenged children.

Me and the few others from my office had planned to distribute toys and some basic things to the handicapped children. Any event to be planned and we go about with these mail chains circulating around in order to collect some stuff anybody would like to give away to the poor and the needy.

It was this one weekend drive never to be forgotten. Whatever i saw, whatever i perceived did make a deep impression on my heart.

It was a well planned drive i must say. We decided upon the age group we would target. The children were all below 14 yrs we got to know. This helped us to collect the type of toys/other_needy_stuff to be distributed.
We managed to pile up a huge stock of soft toys. In addition we received a toddler bed (junior sized bed meant for young children). We also collected some clothings for kids. Thanks to all the people who contributed as a wish to help the innocent.

We stuffed the collection into a jeep and the three of us headed towards this school “Swanthana” at Sarjapur Road, Bangalore. Few others joined us on the way and totally we were 7. Swanthana, a home for the abandoned mentally challenged and spastic children including infants and pre teens. The center has children who are being abandoned by their parents at the hospitals or some other places as they are spastic and had severe disabilities.Also some kids were being brought by police whom they picked from railway stations and other public places.

As we reached the center, it was around 10 a.m and the children were brought out to the garden to play. Weather was pretty cool with clear blue sky. As our jeep arrived to their premises, the children, some big some too small ran towards us aware of the fact that they were to receive something. The innocence on their faces, curiosity in their sparkling eyes, so many questions running in their minds was clearly evident.

Being mentally retarded, some were unable to talk. Some could not walk properly due to imbalances, some had their hands and legs deformed. But still, i could see a spark in them, they had the enthu, the spirit. They were happy with whatever they had. They could hardly understand anything, but they had a smile on their face. We mingled with them, played with them, some were struggling to reach us. There were few nuns who were looking after them. we inquired about their health and they said everyday a doctor comes to check their progress. The center tries their best to support them and provide any medical facilities required. Some children suffered with cancer, some had heart blocks. They were being operated and now they are much better, as we could see them.There was this cute kid who had a brain damage and would remain infant all her life!

We started distributing toys to them and their blissful divine faces were all lighted up! Each one fairly got atleast one toy.
The children were very different from the otherwise normal kids. They did not fight with the others, they did not cry for anything. They never knew any luxuries in life. Neither did they beg for more.

Almost 31 children suffering due to mental disabilities, they were being abandoned by their families. No one to love them, no one to show any concern, no one to guide, no one to show them any life. There they were all by themselves. They did have a dream, a desire, a hope. The everlasting innocence was unbeatable. They mingled with us as if they longed to see people, strangers did’nt matter to them. They do not get any luxuries as the kids in our society. No mummy to feed them, no daddy to tell them bed-time stories.

What can we privileged people do? we, who have everything in life but no end to complaints. It is the decision of each one of us to do something to the humanity in any ways possible. Life is calling, where are we? A small deed can bring such immense pleasure to the needy, i realised that day. The things that we usually throw away as they make our house look untidy, why can’t we give them to such centers where there are so many children who cannot go to schools due to mental disabilities. They are being thrown away by their parents! what a crime! Let the childhood not suffer. Let them live.

A short little prayer:

Dear God! Please take care of these children. They are all yours. Provide them good health. Give them their daily bread and do not bring them to a test in life. Please shower your blessings on them. Let them live a life.