Ramesh was very sad. He ate little and even did not do his homework. He wanted to talk to the stars that he saw at night. So strong was his wish that his whole life had got disturbed. His parents failed to make him happy.
One night when he was looking at the stars, he heard a voice.
"Is it a star talking to me?" he got excited.
But it was not a star, it was the moon.
"Ramesh, why are you so sad?" asked the moon.
"I want to talk to the stars."
"Why only stars, you can talk to me," said the moon.
"No, no I want to talk only to the stars," said Ramesh and started crying.
"Ok, ok," said the moon, "Let me tell you the reality."
"what reality?" he stopped crying.
"The reality that the stars that you see in the sky, might not be there."
"What do you mean!" He was surprised.
"Ramesh you know we able to see only when light from an object enters our eyes."
"Similarly, when the light from the stars reaches your eyes, you see them." The moon paused for a moment to let the idea sink in.
"What do want to say?" Ramesh was puzzled.
"Let me explain it to you with a supposition. Suppose an explosion takes place on a star at this moment and it stops shining. Would you able to see that explosion?"
"yes, why not?" he said amid an quickening of interest.
"No, my dear. The light of that explosion will reach you after thousands of years because the star is very far away."
Ramesh listened to this strange notion with rapt attention.
"So, what you are actually seeing might not be there." Moon took a deep breath.
"Does it mean that there might not be a single star up there and I will never come to know about it?" Ramesh's sharpened interest gave way to despair.
"No, no my dear, don't feel disheartened," moon said compassionately. "It's only a far-fetched possibility. I just wanted to make you understand that you should have dreams but shouldn't let dreams spoil our present life. Now get up and eat your dinner."
Ramesh got the point, smiled, bid goodbye to moon, and went to the dining room for his dinner.
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Indian Banks Receive $30 Billion In Deposits: Foreign Media
Indian banks received 2 trillion rupees ($29.8 billion) of cash after the government's Nov. 8 surprise move to abolish high-denomination banknotes, as customers queued for hours to deposit or exchange the old bills and ATMs ran dry.
With the banned bills accounting for 86 percent of money out of circulation, there is tremendous pressure on the nation's banking system to replenish the cash. More than 70 million transactions were recorded through midday Nov. 12, the Ministry of Finance said in a statement late Saturday. There's adequate money in the currency chests at more than 4,000 locations and re-configuration of dispensing machines will be completed within two weeks, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley said.
Lenders have been caught out by Prime Minister Narendra Modi's unexpected and widely-praised announcement of the withdrawal of 500-rupee and 1,000-rupee notes, part of a crackdown on tax evasion and the underground economy. Jaitley urged people not to rush to banks immediately and wait for a few days and to conduct financial transactions using electronic transfers, checks and credit and debit cards.
"A big regret is that people are getting inconvenienced, but currency replacement of this magnitude will cause some problems," Jaitley said at a press conference in New Delhi on Saturday. "There are long, but orderly queues. Such a big currency replacement can't be done overnight."
State Bank of India, the country's largest, got deposits worth 478.68 billion rupees, Jaitley said. It handled 543.70 billion rupees of cash transactions in all, including deposits, withdrawals and exchange of banknotes, starting Thursday through 12:15 p.m. on Saturday, Jaitley said. The government-owned lender and its associates account for about 20 percent to 25 percent of the nation's banking system, he said.
The government deliberately didn't reconfigure the more than 200,000 cash machines beforehand to help keep the announcement a secret, Jaitley said. The machines are being re-calibrated so that they can dispense new 500 and 2,000 rupee notes, which do not fit into the existing cash trays in the ATMs.
The central bank's presses are printing banknotes at full capacity to ensure availability, Reserve Bank of India said on Saturday.
The cash crisis has seen people standing for hours in long lines to exchange the now-defunct notes, and political rivals of Modi's Bharatiya Janata Party relaying images of the chaos on social media.
About 120,000 out of the 200,000 ATMs are operational, and presently only 100 rupee notes are being disbursed from the machines, according to the finance ministry's statement Saturday. To overcome cash-flow problems people are facing, the government allowed the use of old banknotes to pay court fees and utility bills until Nov. 14. It had earlier also suspended collection of tolls on national highways through the same period.
"The first few days are going to be a period of inconvenience, but long-term advantages of this are to the overall economy," said Jaitley. "There is no mismanagement at banks. Had that been the case then not so many people would have been serviced."
US backs India's 'right to self-defence', slams Pakistan for linking Afghan peace to Kashmir
WASHINGTON: Supporting India's "right to self-defence" in the aftermath of the Uri attack+ which it dubbed a "clear case of cross-border terrorism", the US on Wednesday dismissed the recent attempt by Pakistan to link peace in war-torn Afghanistan with resolution of the Kashmir issue.
The White House backed India's right to defend itself as with any other country, in view of the recent surgical strike+ but advised caution given the heavy militarisation between the two neighbours.
It also said that that the US is making every effort to ensure that India become a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group (NSG) by the end of this year.
Making a rare appearance before a Washington audience, Peter Lavoy, the White House's point person for South Asia, said that India-US ties are the "most dynamic relationship" for the US as he listed the Obama administration's achievements in strengthening the relationship between the two largest democracies of the world.
"It (Uri) was a clear case of cross-border terrorism. We condemned this act of terrorism. It was a horrific attack. Every country has a right to self-defence. But in a heavily militarised relationship that has also experienced three wars, there is indeed a need for caution and restraint," he said responding to a question on the Uri attack.
"We share with India, the concern for preventing any future attack. We empathise with the Indian position that it needs to respond militarily to cross-border threat of terrorism. But we also advise caution," Lavoy said.
India and Pakistan have a "friction-filled relationship" and they have not found a way to overcome that, he said.
Last week, Lavoy met the two special envoys of Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif on Kashmir.
The two Pakistani envoys in their public meetings had linked peace in Afghanistan to resolving the Kashmir issue.
"We certainly do not believe that the situation in Afghanistan is linked with Kashmir," the top White House official said.
Lavoy said the US is making every effort to ensure that India becomes a member of the Nuclear Suppliers Group by the end of this year.
"In 2016 India ought to join the NSG," he said and referred to the commitment made by the US in this regard.
Heat ghee in a non-stick pan. Add broken wheat and sauté for 5 minutes or till browned.
Boil 4 cups water and add this to the pan, cover and cook till the water evaporates.
Add cardamom powder and fennel seeds and mix well. Add jaggery, mix well and cook for 2-3 minutes or till the jaggery melts.
Contributed by Daler