Nation on the March

Nation on the March
Nation on the March

Oct 29, 2009

Either Curse & Go Away or Stop and Do Something!!

How many times have we encountered a pot hole on the road, a big boulder, some obstruction on our way? Quite often. And most often, the first response is to wriggle through the available space and move ahead – of course only after we have completed our quota of blaming and cursing!

A routine news item caught attention two days ago in a local paper. There is a picturesque location just 70 odd km from Baroda. It is called Zarwani water falls and tourists throng there, especially during  this pleasant season for trekking, swimming and of course a look at the giant Sardar Sarovar dam on river Narmada.. (photo  from the  blog

A routine mishap of some people drowning happened this month – like it keeps happening at all picnic spots that have an opportunity to swim or bathe. Some victims lucky to safely come out  themselves, some are saved by nearby persons and others  not so lucky never come out and family members keep looking for the body in this great water mass.

The accident I read about was like this: Diwali holidays. Large family group travels long distance. Nine of them start drowning in Zarwani water body. Eight could save themselves with difficulty. One 12 year old boy Nisarg Parikh is drowning helplessly. A young tribal boy of fourteen, Girish Vasava uses his strength and skill to bring this young boy out safely. The boy is saved. The families are in deep gratitude for the providential help.Normally a news item stops at this. . Real news story unfolds now:

Not content with their good fortune of bringing home all the dear ones  in tact, the families visited the spot  once again. First they performed religious prayers to the river and offered nine coconuts. Then they proceeded to reward the brave boy. They thanked him and the family, left behind not just food grains and edible oil for the tribal family but gave cash reward to the boy and …. And …and they did something more life-changing than what one can routinely think of! 

They volunteered to bear the total cost of further education of this brave boy. This much for the family. For other tourists, they carried oil paint and painted warning signs on the rocks nearby – because there were no such warning signs to caution them of the danger. Our salute to this great effort of Sheth and Parikh family from Ahmedabad and Halol !

Because they neither did curse their misfortune nor the decision to swim ( or to travel), nor the authorities, their lapses, blah, blah. They did some thing simple : they acted. In this way, they set one shining example !

The questions that come to the mind are simple and many: 

  • This was a simple looking alright,  gesture but how often do we stop short of doing it? 
  • We appreciate it when others do it. But then why it does not occurs to us? Or why  we conveniently discard the thought of actually doing it after it did occurr to us? 
  • Why do we succumb to the self-limiting thoughts like , “ some one else is paid for taking this care , so why me “ or “ there is no end to doing  such things now? " or "why no one else is coming forward" or " where is the time” or “ it is not humanly possible”, etc ? 
  • Why do we forget that only humans can perform the super-human tasks, which were considered impossible? We can do any thing we set our sights upon because we do not have labels stuck on us that define our capacity (like 5 hp, or 500 kg, or 40kmph)?

One very inspiring anecdote comes to my mind :

An English language  teacher was teaching  the class about opposite words. She asked one child the opposite of ‘ theft’ and the young one answered “ Madam, it is 'charity' ” The teacher corrected her, saying " it is 'honesty', my dear".

The child was adamant that her answer was right. On being asked to explain , she said that if ‘theft' means taking away something that does not belong to us, than its correct opposite word would be 'charity' which means giving away some thing  that belongs to us” Her definition of the opposite took a step further, not stopping short and being content at staying honest! To her, it was important to walk that extra step from honesty and go up to charity, to help, to support, to empathize !

Few decades ago  one article titled “ Bringing Rainbow to Work” had appeared in  Reader’s Digest magazine. It prompted the readers  to do a little bit more than what is expected of them, walk one extra step without any expectation for being thanked or compensated and thereby bring "rainbow to our work".  

The author had mentioned a story about  a pond that was being reconstructed in a small village. When the work was over and the water was to be filled up on the appointed night , all the residents gathered in the morning to cast their eager  glances upon the   new pond. They were overjoyed, not because it was full with fresh water once again after a long time ….. But ….but because the people in charge had not forgotten to buy some ducks with ducklings  and they were pedalling  merrily in water and making the picture complete !

He called this as minute detail to attention and takin a small extra step “ bringing rainbow to our work”

The hurdle often begins with the self-limiting  negative thoughts. How do we overcome the habit of using such  negative phrases which not permit us to reach our peak performance? First of all, identify them and secondly, do not utter them, or even think of them. Continue the good work, uninterrupted by them. 

Chris Melton has prepared a list of 101 such negative phrases and has encouraged readers  to  expand his  list ( )

Does not this post remind you of some inspiring incident, some uplifting thought, some unforgettable experience that you also had? It could be about a small and simple step of bringing rainbow to work by ordinary people in ordinary matters in our ordinary life.  

Then don't wait. Please be kind enough to add it here as a comment.We all are keen to read it and see it set the inspirational ball rolling !!

Oct 28, 2009

Three greatest events worthy of celebrations : Birth, Life & Death

There are no greater events which need celebration than human birth, human, life and human death.  

Birth day is the most regularly celebrated event and it has significance only to the birthday boy or girl and some one who is very very close. Others are mere onlookers who, by compulsions of civility & courtesy, shower an occasional bouquet, gift, a phone call or an SMS in the least.

Celebration of life is a serious daily affair and is  an outcome of daily choices - rather a dozen choices each day – that one makes, which in turn build his life as though brick by brick.  The superficial life will be full of superficial celebrations – as we have seen in my earlier posts - like Hand Washing Day and Pop Corn Day and Ice Cream Day, while a more serious life is like that of Nick Vujicic  i.e. Life without Limbs - turned into- Life without Limit” - seen in another post! 

In Gujarati, one recent message I received is very inspiring and the key to Life Without Limit :

Celebration of Death is the only one where the ‘guest of honour’ himself is absent! Hence, what happens that day is all the more crucial to know! It depends on two things: the social customs and beliefs of each community or province and how the life was lived. The latter is a dull and mundane subject, full of subjectivity and more importantly, a sacred, private domain and therefore better not to touch it. The former - customs and beliefs - is the subject matter of this post.

The subject of death has been long held as one of permanent separation, grief, bereavement, mourning and remembrance. To the living, its undertone is that of morbid fear, of some thing demonic or satanic, some thing unwelcome or inauspicious.

The Hindu trinity of Brahma, Vishnu and Shiva are respectively the creator, preserver and destroyer deities of the universe. Lord Shiva - the destroyer - appears in a meditating but ever-happy posture. The Lord's attributes represent his victory over the demonic activity, and calmness of human nature.

Shiva is worshipped in a popular form named Nataraj ( the King of Dance ). His dance represents both the destruction and the creation of the universe and reveals the cycles of death, birth and rebirth. His Dance of Bliss is for the welfare of the world. In the pose of Nataraj, under his feet, Shiva crushes the demon of ignorance ( caused by forgetfulness) . One hand is stretched across his chest and points towards the uplifted foot, indicating the release from earthly bondage of the devotee. The fire represents the final destruction of creation, but the dance of the Nataraj is also an act of creation, which arouses dormant energies and scatters the ashes of the universe in a pattern that will be the design of the ensuing creation.

In spite of all this positive symbols in praise of death, the spiritual knowledge is quickly vaporized in many a homes and the dead are remembered in a very solemn, seriously suffocating atmosphere where family members spend the inauspicious period of 16-days of worshiping the departed souls by shunning themselves from all important auspicious decisions and actions every year, without fail!

In contrast, if one has to see the true celebration of death , perfectly in line with that of birth, a quick arm-chair journey to Mexico and other Latino communities should suffice.Then, tie up the seat belts please on the journey of fun, frolic, beautifully created art work , all in celebration of dear, dear friend we call death – to witness Day of the Dead (El Día de los Muertos) ! This festival is noteworthy in several ways. The theme is to “remember the dead”, but the rituals are unimaginably explicit, entertaining, colourful and creative.

The holiday focuses on gatherings of family and friends to pray for and remember friends and family members who have died. The celebration occurs on November 1st and 2nd in connection with the Catholic holiday of All Saints' Day which occurs on November 1st and All Souls' Day which occurs on November 2nd. Traditions include building private altars honoring the deceased, using sugar skulls, marigolds, and the favorite foods and beverages of the departed, and visiting graves with these as gifts. Rituals celebrating the deaths of ancestors have been observed by these civilizations perhaps for as long as 2500–3000 years.

In most regions of Mexico, November 1 honors children and infants as "Día de los Inocentes" (Day of the Innocents) or  "Día de los Angelitos" (Day of the Little Angels) and November 2 as "Día de los Muertos" or "Día de los Difuntos" (Day of the Dead).


Some families build altars or small shrines in their homes which  usually have the Christian cross, statues or pictures of the Blessed Virgin Mary, pictures of deceased relatives and other persons, scores of candles, etc. Traditionally, families spend some time around the altar, praying and telling anecdotes about the deceased. In some locations, celebrants wear shells on their clothing, so that when they dance, the noise will wake up the dead; some will also dress up as the deceased.
Those with a distinctive talent for writing sometimes create short poems, called "calaveras" ("skulls"), mocking epitaphs of friends, describing interesting habits and attitudes or funny anecdotes.

A common symbol of the holiday is the skull (colloquially called calavera), which celebrants represent in masks, called calacas (colloquial term for "skeleton"), and foods such as sugar or chocolate skulls, which are inscribed with the name of the recipient on the forehead. Sugar skulls are gifts that can be given to both the living and the dead.

The traditions and activities that take place in celebration of the Day of the Dead are not universal and often vary from town to town. Some where there is also dancing with colorful costumes, often with skull-shaped masks and devil masks in the plaza or garden of the town.
In some parts of the country , children in costumes roam the streets, knocking on people's doors, for a calaverita, a small gift of candies or money; they also ask passersby for it. They also clean their houses and prepare the favorite dishes of their deceased loved ones to place upon their altar or ofrenda.

People bring offerings of flowers, photos, mementos, mentos, and food for their departed loved ones which they place at an elaborately and colorfully decorated altar. A program of traditional music and dance also accompanies the community event.
Some where,   Day of the Dead are highlighted by the construction and flying of giant kites in addition to the traditional visits to gravesites of ancestors. A big event also is the consumption of fiambre that is made only for this day during the year.
In the Philippines, , the tombs are cleaned or repainted, candles are lit, and flowers are offered. Entire families camp in cemeteries, and sometimes spend a night or two near their relatives' tombs. Card games, eating, drinking, singing and dancing are common activities in the cemetery. It is considered a very important holiday by many Filipinos.

“While it's strange for most of us to accept the fact that "death" and "festivities" can go hand-in-hand, for most Mexicans, the two are intricately entwined. This all stems from the ancient indigenous peoples of Mexico who believed that the souls of the dead return each year to visit with their living relatives - to eat, drink and be merry. Just like they did when they were living.

Tempered somewhat by the arrival of the Spaniards in the 15th century, current practice calls for the deceased children (little angels) to be remembered on the previous day (November 1st, All Saints Day) with toys and colorful balloons adorning their graves. And the next day, All Souls Day, adults who have died are honored with displays of the departed's favorite food and drinks, as well as ornamental and personal belongings. 

Flowers, particularly the zempasúchil (an Indian word for a special type of marigold) and candles, which are placed on the graves, are supposed to guide the spirits home to their loved ones.

This may all seem morbid and somewhat ghoulish to those who are not part of that culture. But, for Mexicans who believe in the life/death/rebirth continuum, it's all very natural. This is not to say that they treat death lightly. They don't. It's just that they recognize it, mock it, and even defy it. Death is part of life and, as such, it's representative of the Mexican spirit and tradition which says: "Don't take anything lying down - even death!"

First the graves and altars are prepared by the entire family, whose members bring the departed's favorite food and drink. Candles are lit, the ancient incense copal is burned, prayers and chants for the dead are intoned and then drinks and food are consumed in a party/picnic-like atmosphere. At 6:00 pm, the bells begin to ring (every 30 seconds), summoning the dead. They ring throughout the night. At sunrise, the ringing stops and those relatives who have kept the night-long vigil, go home.

( With inputs /extracts from Wikipedia &  Story compiled and written by Marvin H. Perton

Mexico celebrates a yearly tradition called Day of the Dead during the last days of October and the first days of November. Due to the duration of this festivity and the way people get involved it has been called "The Cult of Death."In this place, the spirits rest until the day they could return to their homes to visit their relatives.

The legacy of past civilizations is graphically manifested on this occasion through people’s beliefs that death is a transition from one life to another in different levels where communication exists between the living and the dead. This communication takes place once a year throughout the country.

This may all seem morbid and somewhat ghoulish to those who are not part of that culture. But, for Mexicans who believe in the life/death/rebirth continuum, it's all very natural. 

This is not to say that they treat death lightly. They don't. It's just that they recognize it, mock it, and even defy it. 

Death is part of life and, as such, it's representative of the Mexican spirit and tradition which says: "Don't take anything lying down - even death!"

 Therefore, the Day of the Dead in Mexico is not a mournful commemoration but a happy and colorful celebration where death takes a lively, friendly expression.What a friendly, joyful way to remember the departed dear ones !!

 With inputs & Extracts from  “ Mexico Celebrates Life” ( by Journalist, Author, and Photographer, Mary J. Andrade

Food through SMS !

U.N. to send Iraqi refugees food aid by SMS!
Tue Oct 27, 2009

GENEVA (Reuters) - Iraqi refugees in Syria will this week start receive U.N. text messages they can redeem for fresh food in local shops, the World Food Program said on Tuesday.

The "virtual vouchers" worth $22 per family every two months will supplement traditional aid which rarely includes perishable goods, WFP spokeswoman Emilia Casella said, announcing the pilot project supported by the mobile company MTN.

"They will be able to exchange their electronic vouchers for rice, wheat flour, lentils, chickpeas, oil and canned fish, as well as cheese and eggs -- items that cannot usually be included in conventional aid baskets," she told a Geneva news briefing.

There are more than 1.2 million Iraqis now living in Syria, according to government figures. Many of those who fled war and insurgent violence in their homeland initially had some savings and possessions but are increasingly desperate, Casella said.

Virtually all the 130,000 Iraqis who now regularly receive WFP food assistance in Syria have mobile phones, and the U.N. agency often sends text messages to tell them where food staples will be distributed, the spokeswoman said.

The Rome-based WFP, which aims to feed 105 million people in 74 countries this year, has never before used mobile phones to deliver food vouchers.

The Syrian pilot will initially reach 1,000 beneficiaries in and around Damascus, and may be extended, the WFP said. Casella described it as a way to help refugees eat a more diversified diet while also supporting local farmers and businesses.

"We are not giving food away, we are actually creating an additional market for local shopkeepers," she said.

(Reporting by Laura MacInnis)

Coffee with No Comment -1

"I know that you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you heard is not what I  meant." 
(Robert McCloskey)

Oct 27, 2009

Thinking very highly of self ? Let Nick prick your ego balloon !!

Nick is 26 years old, was born in Australia,  went to a normal school and has completed double major degree in Finance & Accountancy. He has travelled all the six continents as an inspirational speaker, etc. What else? Oh yes, I forgot to tell that he also swims, plays golf, types at a speed of 42 words per minute ( faster than you and me ). And makes some money from stock market trading and real estate business. Charity? Certainly yeas. He runs a foundation also.
If you are questioning me why I am taking your time by dishing out  these stereotype 'qualifications' similar to hundreds of persons into whom you bump into now and then, please hold your breath! Nick is not like you and me! He is different. He is Nick Vujicic!  Ryan English has written beautifully about him and I invite you to  Ryan writes:”
When Nick Vujicic was born, his mother didn’t want to hold him. In fact, she asked the doctors to take him away. ...‘My Dad did not think I would survive for very long,’ says Nick.  ‘But tests proved that I was a healthy baby boy with just one hitch: I’d been born without any limbs.’

Missing both arms at shoulder level, and having one small foot with two toes protruding from his left thigh, Nick was a complete surprise to his parents. Medicine has been unable to explain his condition and his mother was very careful during pregnancy, even avoiding pain-killers like Panadol. His parents, dedicated Christians, couldn’t help but ask themselves: ‘If God is a God of love, then why would he let something like this happen, and especially to devoted Christians?’ Understandably, they worried about the kind of life Nick would be able to lead.
It took them months to come to terms with the situation facing their firstborn. But they overcame their fears and worked hard to give him the best life they could, including attending school.  ‘I was the first disabled student to be integrated into a mainstream Australian school,’ says Nick. Like many things in his life, getting into the school he wanted was a fight. At the time, Australian law didn’t allow physically disabled children into mainstream schools, even if they weren’t mentally impaired. However, Nick’s mum fought to change the law, and won.
‘I liked going to school,’ says Nick. ‘I always tried to get myself involved as much as possible, and wanted to do what everyone else was doing.’ ...‘[But] it was very hard at times,’ he says, ‘because kids are kids.’

Nick was singled out and bullied by the other students for his physical differences.  ‘It was very hard to deal with that rejection at times—kids staring at me, laughing at me, making up names and all those sorts of things. ‘I went home crying a lot of times and asking “Why? Why did God do it?” and Mum and Dad told me, “Only God knows”.’
Blaming God for his disability, Nick didn’t want anything to do with him—a difficult thing in a Christian home. ‘I didn’t want to speak to him, I didn’t want to hear about him,’ he says. ........

At eight, Nick began to contemplate suicide. ‘I looked at my life and I thought, not going to get married, not going to have kids, not going to have family, not going to have a job, not going to be independent—all those things in life that everybody else takes for granted. I didn’t think that kind of life was worth living.
When I was 10 I actually tried to suicide by turning over in my family bathtub three times. What stopped me going through with it was the thought of leaving my parents with a lifetime of guilt on their shoulders, wishing they could have done something more for their son.’
Eventually, Nick found his way forward. Taking his parents’ advice, he began starting conversations with the people around him and anyone who treated him differently.
‘Soon the students realized I was just like them,’ he says.  Starting there, Nick never had any trouble making new friends. Than, at 13, Nick read a newspaper article that would change his life.
‘[It was] about a man who was disabled,’ he says. ‘I realized that I wasn’t the only person in the world in a situation that couldn’t be changed and didn’t make sense. ‘I realized I had a choice. Either I could be angry with God for what I didn’t have, or be thankful to God for what I did have.

Nick held out hope for a miracle, but eventually came to realize something: ‘If God doesn’t change your circumstance, then he’s going to use it.’
That realization gave Nick a new direction in life that many people wouldn’t have considered; to, as he puts it, ‘encourage and inspire others to live to their fullest potential and not let anything get in the way of accomplishing their hopes and dreams.’
So, from the age of 19, Nick began talking to people about his experiences—and now, at 26, he has built a life for himself that can only be called extraordinary.
‘I’ve learned to become independent and can now take care of all my personal needs.

‘I’m able to do everything from brushing my teeth and combing my hair to dressing up and taking care of my personal hygiene, including shaving.

‘I get around the house by jumping around and, outside the house, an electric wheelchair assists me.’
Nick has made a name for himself simply by overcoming challenges he sets for himself. He swims, drives a boat, enjoys fishing (with an electronic reel), plays soccer and, most recently, and has taken up surfing.  ‘They put me on the front cover of Surfer Magazine,’ Nick says. ‘It was fantastic. I was able to jump and spin myself 360 degrees around on the board—no surfer has ever done that before.’
......His real passion is motivational speaking, sharing his faith in God and his incredible story with anyone who wants—or needs—to hear it. Now living in Los Angeles, Nick’s story has put him in high demand. ‘I’ve spoken 1,500 times,’ he says. ‘Last year alone I travelled to 14 different countries and got to talk to more than 600 million people.’
He was awarded The Most Inspirational Life Award at the Christian Music Awards in California and now he is writing his first book, entitled No Arms, No Legs, No Worries!
The book is due for release in September next year, when Nick appears on Oprah—a long-time dream of his.
He’s achieved a lot, and is looking set to achieve even more, but does he still hold out hope for a miraculous healing? ( He says)
my motto ...... has been: if God doesn’t give you a miracle, then you are a miracle to someone else… I am a miracle just the way I am.’
- Ryan English

 Nick has a very great sense of humour: He says that not having arms or legs means no need for expensive shoes, wrist watch, ring, etc! When asked how he visions himself 20 years from now, he said - being married, and walking his daughter down the aisle.    

Coming back to the title of this post, I asked myself: how many years am I older than Nick? With all limbs in tact, how much have I travelled beyond Nick's journey of life? Where would I have been, if I were to be born like? How many people are there around us who have all limbs but no heart? 
After reading Nick’s journey, I have found   the answers. And the answers lie in attitude, confidence, will power, determination, faith & action and not words, not in excuses, not in blame game, not in overconfidence.

As the Nike  advertisement tells us – “Just Do it”; because life is short and tasks are endless.

Nick has shown us that it is in our hands to turn the 'life without limbs' into 'life without limit' .

Thank you and best wishes, dear Nick !!

Oct 26, 2009

Amusing Correspondence : Hotel Maid and the Guest

Have you been lucky to receive one e-mail forward which narrates humorous correspondence, exchanged between a London hotel and one of its guests and which was reportedly submitted to the Sunday Times for publication by this London news paper?

Good news that it is indeed funny.

Bad news is that the correspondence is not real but imaginary. ( To be precise, it is written by comedian Shelley Berman who published it in one of his books, A Hotel Is a Place in 1972.)

Enjoy !! 


The Saga of Hotel Soap

The following letters were taken from an actual incident between a London hotel and one of its guests. The Hotel submitted the letters to the London Sunday Times for their humor column:
Dear Maid,

Please do not leave any more of those little bars of soap in my bathroom since I have brought my own bath-sized Dial. Please remove the six unopened little bars from the shelf under the medicine chest and another three in the shower soap dish. They are in my way.

Thank you,
S. Berman
Dear Room 635,

I am not your regular maid. She will be back tomorrow, Thursday, from her day off. I took the 3 hotel soaps out of the shower soap dish as you requested. The 6 bars on your shelf I took out of your way and put on top of your Kleenex dispenser in case you should change your mind. This leaves only the 3 bars I left today which my instructions from the management are to leave 3 soaps daily. I hope this is satisfactory.

Kathy, Relief Maid
Dear Maid - I hope you are my regular maid.

Apparently Kathy did not tell you about my note to her concerning the little bars of soap. When I got back to my room this evening I found you had added 3 little Camays to the shelf under my medicine cabinet. I am going to be here in the hotel for two weeks and have brought my own bath-size Dial so I won't need those 6 little Camays which are on the shelf. They are in my way when shaving, brushing teeth, etc. Please remove them.

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

My day off was last Wed. so the relief maid left 3 hotel soaps which we are instructed by the management. I took the 6 soaps which were in your way on the shelf and put them in the soap dish where your Dial was. I put the Dial in the medicine cabinet for your convenience. I didn't remove the 3 complimentary soaps which are always placed inside the medicine cabinet for all new check-ins and which you did not object to when you checked in last Monday. Please let me know if I can of further assistance.

Your regular maid,

Dear Mr. Berman,

The assistant manager, Mr. Kensedder, informed me this morning that you called him last evening and said you were unhappy with your maid service. I have assigned a new girl to your room. I hope you will accept my apologies for any past inconvenience. If you have any future complaints please contact me so I can give it my personal attention. Call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM.Thank you.

Elaine Carmen
Dear Miss Carmen,

It is impossible to contact you by phone since I leave the hotel for business at 7:45 AM and don't get back before 5:30 or 6PM. That's the reason I called Mr. Kensedder last night. You were already off duty. I only asked Mr. Kensedder if he could do anything about those little bars of soap. The new maid you assigned me must have thought I was a new check-in today, since she left another 3 bars of hotel soap in my medicine cabinet along with her regular delivery of 3 bars on the bath-room shelf. In just 5 days here I have accumulated 24 little bars of soap. Why are you doing this to me?

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

Your maid, Kathy, has been instructed to stop delivering soap to your room and remove the extra soaps. If I can be of further assistance, please call extension 1108 between 8AM and 5PM.Thank you,

Elaine Carmen,
Dear Mr. Kensedder,

My bath-size Dial is missing. Every bar of soap was taken from my room including my own bath-size Dial. I came in late last night and had to call the bellhop to bring me 4 little Cashmere Bouquets.

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

I have informed our housekeeper, Elaine Carmen, of your soap problem. I cannot understand why there was no soap in your room since our maids are instructed to leave 3 bars of soap each time they service a room. The situation will be rectified immediately. Please accept my apologies for the inconvenience.

Martin L. Kensedder
Assistant Manager
Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Who the hell left 54 little bars of Camay in my room? I came in last night and found 54 little bars of soap. I don't want 54 little bars of Camay. I want my one damn bar of bath-size Dial. Do you realize I have 54 bars of soap in here. All I want is my bath size Dial. Please give me back my bath-size Dial.

S. Berman
Dear Mr. Berman,

You complained of too much soap in your room so I had them removed. Then you complained to Mr. Kensedder that all your soap was missing so I personally returned them. The 24 Camays which had been taken and the 3 Camays you are supposed to receive daily. I don't know anything about the 4 Cashmere Bouquets. Obviously your maid, Kathy, did not know I had returned your soaps so she also brought 24 Camays plus the 3 daily Camays. I don't know where you got the idea this hotel issues bath-size Dial. I was able to locate some bath-size Ivory which I left in your room.

Elaine Carmen
Dear Mrs. Carmen,

Just a short note to bring you up-to-date on my latest soap inventory. As of today I possess:

- On the shelf under medicine cabinet - 18 Camay in 4 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
- On the Kleenex dispenser - 11 Camay in 2 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 3.
- On the bedroom dresser - 1 stack of 3 Cashmere Bouquet,
- 1 stack of 4 hotel-size Ivory, and 8 Camay in 2 stacks of 4.
- Inside the medicine cabinet - 14 Camay in 3 stacks of 4 and 1 stack of 2.
- In the shower soap dish - 6 Camay, very moist.
- On the northeast corner of tub - 1 Cashmere Bouquet, slightly used.
- On the northwest corner of tub - 6 Camays in 2 stacks of 3.

Please ask Kathy when she services my room to make sure the stacks are neatly piled and dusted. Also, please advise her that stacks of more than 4 have a tendency to tip. May I suggest that my bedroom window sill is not in use and will make an excellent spot for future soap deliveries. One more item, I have purchased another bar of bath-sized Dial which I am keeping in the hotel vault in order to avoid further misunderstandings.

S. Berman