Tough love?

I usually avoid email forwards but this one reminded me of the Amy Chua tamasha so I had to share it. Read on.


Baby giraffes never go to school. But they learn a very important lesson rather early in life. A lesson that all of us would do well to remember:

The birth of a baby giraffe is quite an earth- shaking event. The baby falls from its mother’s womb, some eight feet above the ground.

It shrivels up and lies still, too weak to move. The mother giraffe lovingly lowers her neck to smooch the baby giraffe. And then something incredible happens.

She lifts her long leg and kicks the baby giraffe, sending it flying up in the air and tumbling down on the ground. As the baby lies curled up, the mother kicks the baby again and again. Until the baby giraffe, still trembling and tired, pushes its limbs and for the first time learns to stand on its feet.

Happy to see the baby standing on its own feet, the mother giraffe comes over and gives it yet another kick. The baby giraffe falls one more time, but now quickly recover and stand up. Mama Giraffe is delighted. She knows that her baby has learnt an important lesson:

Never mind how hard you fall, always remember to pick yourself up and get back on your feet.

Why does the mother giraffe do this? She knows that lions and leopards love giraffe meat. So unless the baby giraffe quickly learns to stand and run with the pack – it will have no chance of survival. Most of us though are not quite as lucky as baby giraffes.

No one teaches us to stand up every time we fall. When we fail, when we are down, we just give up.

No one kicks us out of our comfort zone to remind us that to survive and succeed, we need to learn to get back on our feet.

If you study the lives of successful people though, you will see a recurring pattern. Were they always successful in all they did? No. Did success come to them quick and easy? No, no! You will find that the common streak running through their lives is their ability to stand up every time they fall. The ability of the baby giraffe!

Have you heard about a young sales executive from Kolkata who dreamt about becoming an announcer on radio? He auditioned with All India Radio for a job. The authorities felt that he didn’t have a particularly good voice and he was rejected. He refused to accept defeat and continued to chase his dream. He tried for a role in the movies. He got rejected. They thought he was too tall.

He kept trying and got a few lucky breaks. But most of his early films flopped. He did not give up. He played an angry young man in a movie that became a super hit. And the failed radio announcer went on to become the country’s biggest superstar – widely admired for his baritone voice!

His name?  Amitabh Bachchan.

The road to success is never an easy one. There are several obstacles, and you are bound to fall sooner or later. You will hit a roadblock, you will taste failure. But success lies in being able to get up every time you fall.

That’s a critical life skill. And it’s the habit of all successful people. Learning to win in life is quite like learning to ride a bicycle.

As you start to ride, you might fall and get bruised.

It doesn’t matter. You need to get back up and continue to ride.

Fall one more time? Get back up again. That’s all it takes. Learn to get back up every time you fall.

And just remember one more thing. Next time you find a friend or a parent kicking you, don’t get upset with them.

Like the mother giraffe, they may only be trying to teach you one of life’s most important lessons.


50 thoughts on “Tough love?

  1. Baqi sab I understand, but tell me does this mean that Lambuji was kicked one too many times by Tej Bachchan? Does a good kick in the butt lead to tall, lanky kids like Amitabh and giraffes?

  2. This post totally puts the Amy Chau ‘tamasha’ into the right perspective 🙂
    Reminded me of the time I scored 92% in 8th standard and the only ‘gift’ I got in return was a resounding slap from mother because I wasn’t in the top 3 (I was fourth by a margin!).
    She knew I could do better 🙂

  3. I have to go and thank my mother Giraffe. She’s still kicking me around and I am almost 40. Some giraffes (giraves giraffi whatever !) just don’t give up , do they ?

  4. >> The mother giraffe lovingly lowers her neck to smooch the baby giraffe.

    The people who will kick you around will also kiss you even when you are in a state of “um bilical fluids”

  5. Pretty sure my folks read this before I was born.. not the whole thing though, don’t think they got till “Mama Giraffe is delighted. She knows that her baby has learnt an important lesson:”

    .. they still continue to kick me!! Wonder when they’ll stop!! 🙂

  6. Not that I mean to spoil the fun of having a new baby.. just because you posted an e-mail about Giraffe.. here is one from me:

    Welcome to Holland
    by Emily Perl Kingsley.
    c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved

    I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……

    When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.

    After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”

    “Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”

    But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.

    The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.

    So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.

    It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.

    But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”

    And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.

    But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.

    Posted by Ashalon Goodrich at 8:30 PM 1 comments

  7. Animal Planet ran a documentary, 2-3 years ago, shot on a giraffe farm, of a giraffe giving birth. She stands when she is having the baby and the sight of the lil fellow falling from a height was as much heart-in-the-mouth as it was beautiful.
    Lovely forward.

  8. Love it! I think although you read motivational things like these before, it never hurts to get reminded again especially on Monday morning!
    Brat and bean….look out for the kicks!!! 🙂

  9. This is why i absolutely heart Animal Planet. U get to watch a lot of such stuff. I’ve watched the Planet Earth over n over n over n loved it every single time.


    Just wanted to clarify that there are no flying kicks involved, just nudging and pawing.

    I was a little surprised by the violence in your story, so had to do some searching. Apologies if this seems to ruin a good story, though the baby is actually up and walking within 1 hour of birth, which is inspirational in itself.

    • *shrug* not my story at all. As I mentioned before it began, its an email forward. Am as happy as the next person if you clarify something! actually i’m a little happier than the next person to know that people not only read, but also question and if they disagree, will research and respond. good job!

  11. Hi…am a regular visitor to your blog…but never get around writing to you. Your post really cheered me up today.
    Am a typical working woman, the same age as yours. Even our b’days are just a day apart! Software engineer…32…PCOs..undergoing medication…and have come to office with a failed preg test today morn. Almost cried all along the way to office.
    Thanks gal! Ur post really made me feel better! Give my love to the bean and the brat! And ofcourse the baby button! Damn cute he is! 🙂

    • Hi MM and Anon,

      Sorry to butt in but my story same as yours…pcos, weight issues, bad -oily-pimply-skin,thining-baliding -oily hair…struggled to concieve etc. But have beaten each of the pcos related crap in my body.Even my hair is pretty nice now! 🙂

      WHat did i do? Just pranayam- bhatsrika, kapalbhati and anulom/vilom (and surya namaskar asans, which i had to do because of my weight). You can learn it on you tube. But pranayama alone will also do wonders ladies!

      It helped me lose oodles of weight(14kilos and counting!), cleared up my skin, tightened my tummy after a baby, i sleep better, my back ache is gone, my diabetes is stablised, my pcos disappeared, i managed to make a baby(yayy),my uric acid levels are always normal as compared to earlier which used to cause terrible pain in my hip bone and knees,i used to smoke-it killed my urge to smoke and i can now easily function on just 6 hours of sleep no matter how long the day has been for me…these are some of the direct benefits of pranayama i got. I am so thrilled with the results…So,please please please try it for your pcos and a baby. You shall be happily shocked. Hugs.

  12. Are you some kind of mind reader or something? I’m all about digging up motivational articles and songs coz I really need that boost right now. It’s a tough life out there, and knowing that makes you feel so lucky. Learn learn learn is what I keep telling myself, but I guess I have a short memory 🙂

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