The MANTRA (Story of the Vanar Sena)

There is never a dull moment when you grow up in a bustling city like Mumbai and when you add to that a mix of a gregarious group of friends- life is indeed entertaining. Vanar Sena (the army of monkeys), as my group of friends were fondly or not so fondly referred to made growing up so memorable. We felt genuine affection for one another and we did truly think (and still do)that each of us was(is) amazing. Frequent relocation has made it little difficult for my kids to forge such bonds. Yet what I want them to know is that they will always have us parents as the warriors in their army backing them with the message that is the essence of friendship that each of them is special in their own way.

Not so long ago in the woods so dense,
Lived five little monkeys who were the best of friends.
Full of mischief were they, daring and bold,
Exuberant, loving, with hearts made of gold.
Each had a persona, each had a dream,
Beautiful yet distinct from one another did they seem.
Every day would they meet under the big oak tree,
And ponder about how wondrous tomorrow might be.
With gleam in their eyes they listened as each talked
Of the dreams of their soul, whispers of their heart.
“You are the best you,” each would tell the other,
“So reach for the stars, aim higher, aim higher.”
” I am the best me,” became each’s mantra own,
For an attitude to succeed it set the tone.
In time the monkeys left the comfort of the tree,
To pursue their destinies in lands beyond the seas.
Not all was as splendid as dreamed, the monkeys discovered
Many hurdles along the way they each encountered.
In trying times a voice would whisper in their heads
“You are the best you- remember-so march on ahead”
Thus the mantra gave them hope in times of despair
To wake up every morning with the courage to dare.
Every tryst they faced made them stronger than they were
Saw their pursuit within reach, their dreams drawn near.
And somewhere in the jungles the monkeys still live
Every moment with passion, give all that they can give.
Know this story is true ,these monkeys my dear friends
From whom I’ve learnt to believe ,hold on till the end,
And I hope you all  do what they’ve taught me to do
Just compete with yourself as there is none other like you.


  1. Vidu this is so good it’s like keeping that light lite in the lamp that was ignited as friendship still alive in the corner of the heart.

    Gdnight Supru

    Sent from my iPad


  2. Dear Vidya, Read the latest poem ‘The Mantra’. Is really a wonderful one. It tells you to ‘Self-Believe’, that you are as good as anyone else and you too can succeed as others. I am now reading a book ‘ Tough times never last, but tough people do!’ By Robert H. Schuller. There is one passage in one of the chapters which reminisces the central theme of your poem. It reads: “Every human being is born With one gift from God. The privilege of deserving to succeed. People are not higher up the ladder than you are because they are more favored by God than you. You are as good as they are. …..You must affirm: I deserve to succeed; and I have the ability to succeed. Everyone has within himself latent, innate ability. It probably needs to be honed, educated, trained and refined, but it can be done.” With love and affection to you, Murli, Nidhi and Varun, Appa

    Sent from my iPad


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