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  • 26 Oct 2021 11:20 AM | Anonymous

    Hello everyone! My name is Ayan Mishra. Here is the story of how I adopted my first dog, Muffin, along with some tips on how you can adopt yours!

    I’ve always been an animal lover, ever since my childhood. I was in love with TV shows like “Dinosaur Train”, where I learned about ….well dinosaurs. I went on to read more about them and even bought a few encyclopedias. As a kid, I always wanted to have a pet animal. Since I couldn’t get a velociraptor, I settled on a dog! I started pestering my parents for a pet dog since I was 6 years old. My mom always said no because she thought I wasn’t old enough to take care of it. She would always say I could get one when I turned 10. Since she never had a dog before, she felt she needed to get mentally prepared for all the licking and getting used to having another family member. But mind you, my dad had two dogs (German Shepherds) when he was growing up as a kid. I had the majority on my side. It was only about convincing my mom, which took me some time. And when I say some time, it actually took me 4 full years to convince her! Well, as they say, slow and steady wins the race. So did I!

    When I turned 9, I immediately started searching for dogs; I looked up popular dogs that are good for beginners. Most of the websites listed Labrador Retrievers as the number one dog! I researched about them, what they looked like, what they ate, how big they were and what colors they were available in. After all the research, I settled on adopting a yellow lab puppy. To continue the process, I created a Google document and listed all the breeders all over the East Coast and started calling them for availability. To my surprise, none of the breeders had any available lab pups left. Zero! Zilch! Nothing! Except for one breeder in New Hampshire. I called them up and we got in 11th in line to adopt one. I was excited when I heard this, but also a little disappointed to be so late in the line. I kept looking, and realized some other breeders that I contacted were scammers and puppy mills. Puppy mills are mass breeders that keep their puppies in horrible conditions; most of them are also sick and develop issues later on. Since Labradors were the number 1 dog breed, there were a lot of puppy mills for them. I tried staying away from breeders like those.

    In April this year when I got the call from the breeder, they told me we did not make it in line to adopt the puppy. I was very disappointed and started my search all over again. Most of the breeders for labs were booked until 2022. That was when I realized we had to choose a different breed.

    I realized that I should search for smaller dogs because they need less exercise, attention and are easier to train. I found 2 breeds that I liked - the Maltese and the Shih Tzu. As I started researching about them, I fell in love with these small puppies! After all the deliberation, I chose the (drum roll please) Shi Tzu! The name Shih Tzu means little lion in Mandarin. I found Shih Tzu puppies on; a great website where you can find dogs from the African Boerboel to the Yorkshire terrier. My mom researched while I was at school and I researched after I finished my homework. We found a litter of 5 from one of the Shih Tzu breeders in Pennsylvania. When we called them, we found out only one puppy was left and the breeder named her Muffin. We also saw a Maltese puppy and his name was Ollie. I showed both the puppies to my dad and he recommended calling both the breeders. When my mom called both the breeders, we found out that Muffin was available for adoption but Ollie’s breeder didn’t answer.

    We checked when we could go and get Muffin and it was Memorial Day weekend the following week. We had the time to take the long trip. Woo hoo! Then the Maltese breeder answered, but it was unfortunately too late. We had already made up our minds and were going for Muffin. I was in disbelief that was actually going to get a dog after all these years!!! We had to drive all the way to Pennsylvania and I was ready for it! The day before we left, we got all the important dog stuff such as toys, food, bed, crate, etc. from Petco. I was so excited when we were at the breeder’s doorstep. When we called the breeder she came outside holding Muffin. She was the cutest furball! My parents were looking at the papers and asking questions while I was playing with her. She was running super fast. Then I put her on a leash. She hated it and began chewing on it; running around to get it off. Then she walked up to the breeder’s pet cat because she wanted to play. The cat ignored her and walked away. Then we got her to the car along with her leash, collar, food, toy and papers. We took her outside to go to the bathroom before the long drive home. As it was raining, we had to take a wet dog home in the car. At the beginning, she was a little scared because she had never been in the car before, especially with total strangers. She slept within 30 minutes into the drive but woke up a lot because of the bumps. Then she threw up! We got worried and called the breeder; she said that Muffin was just carsick. She slept again and we gave her some toys to chew on. When we got home, Muffin looked around and got settled. We gave her some more toys and fed her. The first few days, she woke up 1 to 2 times in the middle of the night.

    Now Muffin is fully adjusted at home and sleeps through the night. She loves to meet new people, chew on her leash, my flip-flops and everything else. And she loves to play all the time.

    Before we wrap up my story about adopting my first dog, let me give you a few important tips as you consider your own.

    1.    Start by getting permission from your parents.

    2.    Research a breed you like. Get a few backup breeds just in case.

    3.    Find a breeder on website that has litters. Someone you can trust.

    4.    Expand the radius of your search if you cannot find something nearby.

    5.    Talk to them and confirm the litter availability and pay the deposit.

    6.    Get your essentials ready like food and water, bowls, toys, bed, crate, poop bags, pee pads (need those), a collar, leash and id tags.

    7.    Pick your puppy and take it home.

    8.    Have fun!

    What you need for a Shih Tzu

    Continuing the story about my puppy who is growing up fast….Muffin has now turned 6 months old! She has grown much bigger and learned a lot more commands. She has learnt to follow - sit, come, go get your toy, drop it, leave it and down. She has stayed home alone for 3 hours already! Now that I have had her for a few months and our entire family revolves around her needs, I thought I should talk about what you need for a Shih Tzu Puppy.


    Shih Tzu’s don’t need much exercise, so a short walk every day is good enough. Shih Tzu’s are not outdoor dogs so getting a doghouse isn’t ideal. Muffin loves walks and likes to play on the deck; we do not leave her outside though. They need to be watched outside because eagles and hawks can pick them up, along with small coyotes.


    Shih Tzu’s are very picky eaters; you need to pick a food they like. Muffin did not like three foods, so we got her a Shih Tzu Plan food which she loves very much. Some dog food companies such as Purina and Royal Canine specialize in Shih Tzu food. When you switch foods you have to gradually switch to the new foods. On the first day of a new food you need to mix 25% new food and 75% old food. Then on the second day 50% new food and 50% old food, and so on until it is 100% new food. I think we have finally settled down on the type of food she likes!


    Shih Tzu’s are very adaptable dogs who are great at living in apartments and big houses. They barely shed, and don’t have to go to the bathroom very often. They often have separation anxiety, so as puppies they should not be kept alone for a long time. They are not yippy like other small dogs and rarely bark unless hurt, hungry, have to go to the bathroom or frustrated. They are great for all ages and bond especially well with older kids (10 - 18) and with the elderly.


    Shih Tzu’s are great companions; in fact they were actually bred to be companions! Some people even refer to them as ‘therapy dogs’. They are loyal, clever, playful, alert, happy, gentle, friendly and outgoing. Muffin has all of these traits. The only cons of their behavior are that they can be difficult to housetrain. They can also be a bit grumpy sometimes. They are definitely attention seeking dogs and love being around you. Muffin hardly used her play pen, and is usually around the chairs near the kitchen island, or below the dining area chairs. I would say that’s her favorite spot. They can be left alone for 8 hours maximum. They also love being around humans and other dogs.

    Before I wrap up here is the simplified version!

    • Shih Tzu’s do not need much exercise, they will get all of it from a short walk
    • They are picky eaters, I recommend a Shih Tzu diet
    • They can live in all environments, they barely shed and they don’t bark
    • They are great companions

    Ayan Mishra is 10 years old and lives in Shrewsbury with his mom and dad. He is going to the 6th grade and is an avid swimmer and likes to play basketball and tennis.

  • 25 Oct 2021 3:34 PM | Anonymous

    By Ragoo Raghunathan

    Following up on our recent ISW-PEN event focused on job search strategies offering perspectives from recruiters and hiring managers, a very important aspect floated up as crucial. Networking!

    A recent article published by the Harvard Business Review, written by Francesca Gino, Maryam Kouchaki and Tiziana Casciaro, points out how it is easy to refrain from networking – saying ‘I hate networking’. However, they highlight the importance of networking, and how you could overcome that aversion.

    The authors have summarized it by identifying four strategies that can alleviate your concerns – Focus on learning, identify common interests, think broadly about what you can give and finally find a higher purpose.

    Check out the full article here

  • 11 Oct 2021 11:18 PM | Anonymous

    In this issue of eSandesh, we introduce a new feature, a series of interviews with ISW Youth tapping into their views on a number of contemporary and relevant topics.

    By Tanvi Gahlot, ISW Youth Reporter

    I recently held an online session with four teenagers to find out their opinions on the impact of Covid, social media and academics on their life. Joining me were Jayant Manem, a sophomore (10th grader), Aadi Dixit a freshman (9th grader), Tanushree Nekenti, a freshman and Prachet Mahawar, also a sophomore.

    How do you think social media has affected teens, either negatively or positively?

    Most of the participants said that they use social media for about 30 minutes to 1 hour. They felt it made teens more distracted and there might be occasions when it might put people in dangerous situations. On the positive side, it was a game changer in being able to connect to people you might never have met before and makes it easier to meet others with similar interests.

    How has Covid impacted your education this past year and a half?

    Jayant: It has made it difficult to get the education I wanted, in terms of understanding what was happening in class. Also, not only was it difficult online, but now that we are in person, it is hard to get back into the habit of in person at school since remote learning and in person learning are so completely different.

    Aadi: Going off what Jayant said, when we talk about remote learning over Zoom it’s more difficult as teachers are experienced and trained to teach in person classes, which are quite different than online classes. This is another factor that makes it difficult for students to understand. Also, even if students were in a hybrid or in person model during Covid, there was a mask mandate. This made it difficult because teachers usually rely on facial expressions to get an understanding whether a class gets the concept or not.

    Tanushree: I think that after having gone through COVID, I can say that in person learning is much easier than remote because we’re more likely to get distracted as online students. Even if we want to focus it’s extremely difficult.

    Prachet: I believe that one is more connected with in person learning than with online. That’s mostly because there is a strong and easier student to teacher “bond” as the teacher gets to know a student well [in person]. Whereas, in an online setting the teacher can’t focus on one student at a time because the whole class is in the same meeting.

    Do you have any plans after high school?

    Aadi: Although I don’t have a plan set in place officially, I think I might take a year after high school to work and then go to college. Alternatively, I might go to college directly, my major will most likely be engineering (e.g., mechanical engineer, software engineer).

    Tanushree: I am not totally sure about what I want to do in college. However, I know that I want to go to college, even though I am unsure of my major.

    Jayant: I agree with Tanushree. I know I am going to college, although I am debating between going into the medical field or maybe the business field.

    Prachet: I know that I want to go to college too, I just don’t have a planned major.

    What is a skill that you believe school should be teaching us, and it isn’t at the moment?

    Jayant: I believe we need more courses on business and subjects that wouldn’t necessarily be covered in high school; this would help extend people's knowledge on what each career field could essentially look like. Basically, more career-oriented courses in different fields.

    Aadi: I think a big course that we should be learning is “how to pay your taxes” because in all honesty most high schoolers don’t know how taxes or personal finance works in general. Another possible course would be “job hunting” which could include how to write a resume, and how to perform well in interviews, because it is essential for getting a job otherwise what’s the point of going through schooling if you can’t find a job.

    Tanushree: I think another big one would be time management, although it’s difficult to teach. I think it would be a good course for high school or even middle school students to take because it would help you as an adult.

  • 11 Oct 2021 10:58 PM | Anonymous



    कठिनाई से घबरा ना कभी

    ना शोक तू दुख का मना,

    जीवन मिला सौभाग्य से

    शुभ कर्म से सार्थक बना।

    एक दीप आँधी में जला

    तू रात में उत्सव मना,

    आना ही होगा सूर्य को

    विश्वास ये मन में जगा।

    चाँद की उँगली पकड़

    तारों से आँगन को सजा,

    महकेगी जीवन की बगिया

    आस की कलियाँ उगा।

    धैर्य धारण कर के तू

    फिर हौसले अपने बढ़ा,

    हर तिमिर को चीर कर

    आएगी सुबह खुशनुमा।

    10 .5 .2021 आशा


    Don't be disheartened of difficulties

    Nor grieve of the sorrow,

    Life is a fortunate gift

    Make it meaningful by good deeds.

    Light a lamp in storm and

    Celebrate the festival in the night,

    Sun will have to arise

    Awake this belief in your mind.

    Hold the moon in your hand

    Decorate courtyard with stars,

    Your garden will be filled with fragrance

    Grow the buds of hope

    Raise your courageous self

    By having patience in side,

    A pleasant morning will arrive

    By ripping off all darkness.

    10 . 5 .2021. Asha

  • 11 Oct 2021 10:54 PM | Anonymous

    By Rajesh Khare

    You or your family members might have some unclaimed property in the custody of the Massachusetts State Treasury and it's easy to search and claim. We will tell you how.

    How is that possible?

    Maybe someone sent you a check to your old address or a wrong address. Perhaps it was a rebate check, class action settlement, gym refund, employer reimbursement or something else. It could also be stocks or dividends, insurance policies, or the contents of safe deposit boxes. The state holds such property until the rightful owner or heir claims it.

    How do I get it?

    1. Go to the website of the Unclaimed Property Division of the Massachusetts State Treasury

    2. Scroll down to "Top actions & services" and click on

    3. Click on "Search for Unclaimed Property" on

    3. Search for your last name. The search is not pretty but it works.

    4. If you find your name, click on "+ CLAIM" and then "FILE YOUR CLAIM".

    5. Follow the instructions to initiate the claim.

    6. In a few days, you will get an email with instructions from the Unclaimed Property Division.

    7. Complete the prefilled form and gather the documentation requested.

    8. You can mail it or upload the documents online. Online is easy and fast.

    If your claim is approved, you will get a check in the mail soon.

    Is this legitimate?

    The website link is on (step 1 above), so yes. ISW was able to recover a significant amount of unclaimed money for itself and some of our board members did so too. The checks came from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

    And finally,

    If you do recover some money this way, please consider donating a portion of that to ISW.

  • 28 Aug 2021 12:39 PM | Anonymous

    A poem by Asha Singh, ISW Cultural and Language School Teacher

    क्यों भूलता है मन

      कुछ क्षण का है जीवन,

    आशाएँ पूरी कर ले

        कुछ बन सके तो बन

    निज स्वार्थ को भुला कर

       कोई काम ऐसा कर,

    मन की ज्योति जलाकर

        तू पथ आलोकित कर

    दूजे का सहारा बन जा

         लालच से परे हो कर ,

    कदमों में गगन तेरे होगा

        जीवन की डगर  पर

    जीवन के पल हैं सीमित

      सॉसें हैं  गिनी चुनी ,

    सब पाने की चाहत में

         ये बात ना तूने सुनी

    ना जाने कौन सा पल ये

         संदेशा ले के आए ,

    जीवन तो हुआ ये पूरा

          अब मौत  तुझे अपनाए

    दो पल के इस जीवन को

          है सार्थक तुझे बनाना ,

    लोगों के हृदय सुमन में

         खुशबू बन के बस जाना


    Why do you forget,

    That the life is short,

    Fulfill your hopes.

    Be something if possible,

    Do not be selfish,

    Do good deeds for others,

    By using flame of thought.

    Enlighten good path to all.

    Be supportive to others,

    Without any greed,

    And In the path of your life.

    All will appreciate you.

    And to grab everything,

    You did not notice that,

    The breaths are counted,

    And limited are the moments of life.

    Don't know which moment,

    will bring the message,

    That this is the end of life,

    And death is ready to adopt.

    Prove the worth of your life,

    The life of numbered moments.

    By settling down as fragrance

    In the heart of the people.


  • 16 Aug 2021 1:32 PM | Anonymous

    A poem by Tharegha Manoharan

    Let’s talk about tests,
    Standardized tests.
    Those tests teachers hand out,
    That make students doubt,
    Their entire life route.

    Education is the purpose for school,
    It’s supposed to give us the tools,
    To go fight the wrong,
    Out there, and strong.

    We learn math, science,
    English, and social science.
    But most importantly,
    We fail to realize,
    The life lessons our kid applies.

    Learning to say please and thank you,
    And acknowledging all the views,
    Growing up to right the wrong,
    And making sure everyone feels belonged,
    Is not taught with pencils and erasers,
    But by making sure we are all dream chasers.

    Grades. It depends on the day.
    One day, you might get an A,
    Maybe you were happy ‘cause your cold went away.
    But another day, you could be upset,
    And get a score that you regret.

    But it doesn’t matter.
    Who cares about your science grade,
    If you are always afraid.
    Who cares about your math scores,
    If you grow up to be a citizen who ignores.
    Who cares about your MCAS trends,
    If you can’t be a good friend.

    If you can recognize the wrong from the right,
    And gather to knowledge to fight,
    Trust me,
    Then only is it right for your degree.

    Some might say and long,
    For grades, as they are the path to success,
    Of course, they are not wrong,
    But there are other ways to progress.
    Knowledge and education,
    Instead of solely requirements for graduation.

    Assimilation and application,
    For the real world,
    Is more important,
    Than the letters on your documentation.

    We should study, study hard,
    And never disregard,
    But we should learn to laugh,
    Even at our own witticisms.

    So send your children to school,
    Not for the grades, not for the trophies,
    Not for the future salary, not for the low fees,
    But for the apt fuel,
    They need to face the cruel.

    Students, when you study for your test,
    Do it for the want of information possessed.
    Don’t do it for the grade,
    That you think will determine how you get paid.
    Complete your everyday assignments,
    For fine knowledge refinement.
    Don’t do it for the score,
    But because you want to explore.

    Dear mom, dear dad,
    We always want you to be proud and glad,
    But we also want to be content,
    And it doesn’t always come from our average percent.

    So come and explore with me,
    The things that guarantee,
    My happiness for a thousand more years,
    And I promise I will persevere and never fear.

    I will do my best,
    And make the world a better place,
    I will listen to everyone suggest,
    And work toward the betterment of the human race.

  • 16 Aug 2021 1:05 PM | Anonymous

    By Tanvi Gahlot, ISW Youth Reporter

    “What do you want to be when you grow up?” every high schoolers nightmare, or not? This question may seem haunting at first, but it gives students an opportunity to think about what we are interested in. In the following interview. Ms. Rhea Vyas, an IYG alumni and Worcester elementary teacher talks about the field of education, it’s challenges, and it’s rewards.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What advice would you give to high schoolers who are interested in having a future career in education, like you?

    Rhea Vyas: One of the reasons I went into the field of education was because I was very passionate about making an impact and teaching kids. Although sometimes teaching young kids might seem like an easy job, it actually requires a lot of effort. You need to be willing to put the needs of 20-30 kids before yours and have the patience to help each of those kids. So my main piece of advice would be to ask yourself “are you willing to put yourself in uncomfortable positions?” and also to ask yourself “why do you want to go into the field of education”. At the end if you are truly passionate about it, then the job becomes fun and enjoyable each day.

    Tanvi Gahlot: How important do you believe having a focused education through high school is?

    Rhea Vyas: I think it’s very important. Personally I didn’t know I wanted to go into teaching till my senior year of high school, because of this I always dreaded the question “what do you want to be when you grow up?”. Throughout high school I juggled between different fields of science, business, and law. However, I did know that I was very passionate about working with kids. I eventually decided on pursuing it as a career during my senior year, even though it had been my passion since I was a young child. Also, being a South Asian it seems as though your options are very limited to being an engineer, doctor, or business woman; and I just felt that I was never represented in a teacher I had. This also motivated me into eventually deciding on the field of education as my career.

    Tanvi Gahlot: How would you describe your first year of teaching, considering it was very different due to Covid?

    Rhea Vyas: I teach in the main south side of Worcester, which is one of the most low income, poverty ridden schools in the state. This means that many of my students are homeless or have issues with parental custody and some even live with up to 2-3 families in one apartment. These kids have lots of challenges in their background, but these challenges don’t define who they are. Throughout the year I taught first graders (5-6 year old) and these kids don’t let their home life, their family, and their challenges define them. For all the kids around the county this was a very difficult year, where we started off completely remote up till March. This was also difficult for me because I wasn’t just teaching 20 students, I was teaching 20 students and their families who were all listening to what I was saying.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What led you to pick your particular grade that you teach?

    Rhea Vyas: Well since I am an elementary I have a teaching licence which will allow me to teach any grades from first to sixth. So when I applied for a job at the school they had an opening for a first grade teacher. In a sense I have some choice in the grades I teach, but I don’t get to pick from between first to sixth.

    Tanvi Gahlot: What hobbies do you have that allow you to get your mind off work?

    Rhea Vyas: Considering that most days involve 12-16 hours of preparation for the following day(s) I didn’t get much time for hobbies. However, I did learn the importance of balance and did end up developing some hobbies which include traveling and painting by numbers. I especially like the very detailed ones because they give me something to focus on.

  • 6 Jul 2021 11:10 AM | Anonymous
    by Nagendra Rao

    Her graceful moves
    Soothes sore eyes
    Her ethereal quietness
    Calms raging minds
    Her peaceful swish
    Brushes away fears
    Her motherly calm
    Wipes away tears
    Her protective demeanor
    Gives strength and resolve
    Her peaceful glance
    Sweeps worries away
    Her silent speed
    Inspires noble action
    Her serene beauty
    Elicits wondrous awe
    Her graceful reach
    Brings new hope….
    She uplifts minds and hearts
    A beacon of cheer on a cold snowy lake.

  • 28 Jun 2021 6:27 PM | Anonymous

    by Ragoo Raghunathan

    The first meetup of the ISW Professional and Entrepreneurial Networking (PEN) initiative was held at the newly renovated India Center on Saturday, June 12th, 2021 at 11 am. Over 20 attendees from Shrewsbury, Northboro, Southboro, Westboro, Grafton and Worcester attended the nearly two hour meeting. The attendees were accomplished professionals from diverse fields such as Computer Science, Information Technology, STEM, Medicine, Education as well as small business owners. They shared their backgrounds and how they could contribute to the community.

    A previous brainstorming session had generated over 100 ideas in 10 different categories. These ideas and some suggested activities to get the initiative started were presented to the group.  Some of the activities that would be launched immediately were:

    • Work from Home @ISW Thursdays, allowing ISW members who worked from home a change in scenery by providing free access to ISW Center on Thursdays.
    • Monthly Meet-ups that would include seminars and workshops
    • Programs to help members with through mentorship,
    • Presentations on investing in a franchise,
    • Educational sessions around financial planning

    The goal of the PEN Initiative is to utilize the ISW India Center as a hub to bring together and engage professionals in the Metro West region by providing programs and activities that encourage professional growth and entrepreneurial activities. The next meeting is scheduled for July 10th, and will be led by Kelly Mittal, Founder & CEO, myKidzDay Child Care App & Early Childhood Technology Consultant (

    Please feel free to contact us at to let us know if you would like to join us and participate in our PEN activities. Click here to register for the July 10th event.

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