Archives

Reflections-I

Year ends have always been a time of  reflections for me.  Earlier I used to compile a list of blogs whom I liked into a post(you can read them here and here) but then from last year the reflections have been more inward.

The creator of Searching Self searches within herself and her posts and that is what has been the initial idea of setting up this blog.

Recently my washing machine broke down. We could have easily thrown it into the bin and bought a new one but then you can’t just throw it into the bin, you have to send it to scrap. So we decided to wait till we got it repaired. Which means that from a few days (read about a month) I have been washing clothes by hand. You may say what is so great about that. Nothing really, just that it is cold and the only thing you would want to do is to snuggle in your blanket..

But then I realised that how lucky my generation is. My mother used to struggle between housework, kids, gardening and her hobbies of reading and stitching. Yes most of the time she did not have the privilege of sharing time with friends  and sometimes she didn’t even know what was going on around the world. BUT she was contented. She is like an ocean which gathers up all the rivers within her and yet remain steady. I am like a puddle; a tiny stone can ruffle me.

We have easy access of internet and know what is happening around the world. We add friends and unfriend. We are part of social groups. everyone you meet has an opinion whether anyone hears or not is another issue altogether.

Sometimes we know about others more than our selves through status updates. And you can see even couples exchanging notes online. Makes me wonder whether they do live together or not.

Maybe I am too disillusioned or maybe I am too old. But I feel we have all become butterflies. Fluttering away from one flower to another.  Do we stop to reflect and learn about ourselves.

Washing away the dirt from clothes I realised that so much hurt, dirt resides within ourselves which no washing powder can clean. We have covered ourselves with so many layers that somewhere, somehow we are lost.

How often we just follow the trend. New clothes, lifestyle even blog posts. Am I really me or just a reflection of someone else??

(to be continued)

————————————————————

I am extremely sorry if I sound boring but then as I told, it is a time for reflection.

Vidya Sury has compiled a Write Tribe anthology. Do check it out.

Peace and joy

I soared

I flew,

I touched the skies.

I spread my hands

and welcomed you in

I opened my heart

and made you sit.

I sit in peace

I revel in joy

Your name echoes throughout

Hare Krishna, Hare Krishna……….

Photo: ♥ GOVINDA ♥Artist: C.VishnuShri Krishna said:"O son of Kunti, I am the taste of water, the light of the sun and the moon, the syllable Om in the Vedic mantras; I am the sound in ether and ability in man."~Bhagavad Gita as it is 7.8Please read or listen to "Bhagavad Gita as it is" online: http://gitopanishad.com/

______________________________

We had wonderful Sankirtan in temple yesterday.  At the beginning I sat grudgingly for I was in the mood to hear some lecture and was not ready for sankirtan. But 10 minutes into the program and I felt so light and so peaceful. If just the name of the Almighty brings so much joy; I cannot even fathom what his actual presence might bring.

 

Image source: Art of Krishna

‘FEAR’

The room was silent. The only sounds heard were the scratching of the pen on paper. The invigilator moved from one row to row, alert, agile. He had to, you never knew what tricks the children came up with to copy.

Nisha was tense, Chemistry was not her favorite. And today the paper was tough. When the question paper had been distributed, everyone had been disappointed.

She began the third answer when her pen stopped working. Thinking that maybe the ink has run out, she picked out another pen, that too was not working, so she picked up another. But whats this.. that also is refusing to work. Panic creeps in. Beads of perspiration glides down from the nape.  She runs the pen a couple of times on the last page of the answer sheet. The pen starts working and she heaves a sigh of relief. 

But she has wasted some time and there is a lot to answer yet, she starts writing fast……..

The invigilator announces that only 10 minutes are left. Nisha is on the verge of tears, she has not completed her paper and she knows she cannot.

When the invigilator snatches her paper, Nisha jumps up…….

….and sees that she is on her bed.

Her mother sees her jump up and then notices her noticing her surroundings. Then she sees her rushing to the bathroom.

Nisha freshens herself and returns to her bedroom and then notices that there are absolutely no books in her cupboard. Instead there are bibs, powders and what not.

‘Maa, you again cleared up my cupboard. How many times I have told you not to touch my cupboard. Now tell me where are my books.

‘Maa where are you’, she yells.

Maa comes near and looks at her quizzically.

‘Where are my books Maa. It is March 1oth, exam starts in 10 days, I have to study’.

Maa still keeps looking at her.

‘What?’, asks Nisha.

Maa clears her throat. And says, ‘As far as I know you have passed all the exams that you had to  pass. You have done your degree, your post graduation. And whats more you have also got married and had a baby’. And she gestures to a bundle on the bed. Having been awake for the major part of the night, the baby is blissfully sleeping amidst the commotion.

Nisha then remembers that yes she has cleared all her exams including the delivery of her first-born and is at her parents place recuperating.

Some fears like exam fear remain with us for a long time and can even come and haunt us in our dreams. 🙂

______________________________________________

A real life incident which happened with my sister and is written for the prompt DREAMS.

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013.

vecchio libro con stilografica

Today is the last day of the festival. Had a good seven day of writing and basically juggling between writing, reading and housework. Hope you all had a good time reading through my posts. Thank you for being a part of this festival.

 

GREY

I opened the door and stepped out. It was a cold day and I wanted to have some sun. It feels good to have some sunrays on the shriveling winter skin.

But what do I see. The shoe rack is not as it was. It was at a haphazard angle. The shoes thrown here and there. When did that happen, I thought. Yes, a little while back, I had heard the Ethiopian girl playing in the corridor. And I had heard some noise too at that time. But had not bothered. Simply because that girl was always into some or the other mischief. Well can’t blame her actually.

She lives with her mother and some ‘aunts’.  And these ‘aunts’ keep changing. I have a suspicion that they are not legally staying in Bahrain. Maybe they don’t even own their passports anymore. Illegal immigrants keep on changing houses to escape any probe. I don’t even know what profession they are into. The doorbell ringing at odd hours give me some hints. The others staying in the building avoid them. And so do they. They mingle with their own. No doubt the girl does get bored all alone without any friends.

I look here and there to see if someone is present to sympathise with me. At that time the door opens and the mother steps out.

‘What is all this’, I ask her. There is silence in the whole building and my voice echoes.

‘What’, she asks in her unique accent.

‘Your daughter was playing here some time back, it must be her work. Couldn’t she keep everything back?’, I ask.

She mumbles something.

‘I didn’t understand’, I say.

‘You don’t know English or what’, she yells.

That irritates me. ‘ I know English very well, thank you but your accent I do not understand’, I say and not wishing to hear or say anything I just keep everything back in place and leave for my walk.

Later me and my friend have a talk on Ethiopians in general. ‘Why do you mess with them. Their occupations are not known, you know they have this animal  culture, just avoid them’, she advice.

I do follow her advice.

Some days later I am putting the clothes to dry in the terrace. Something happens and I faint.

Sometimes later I come to consciousness to find myself in the lap of one of the roommates of my neighbour. ‘Are you alright?’, she asks me.

I nod. She makes me sit in the shade while she puts my clothes to dry.

Then she helps me get up. Leads me to my flat. Makes me comfortable and asks if I need anything. I mumble a no. Then she leaves.

Later when she meets my husband, she narrates everything and asks him to take care.

So often we brand people according to their nationality or their work and so often we forget to see our own deficiencies.

————————————————————–

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Festival of Words 8th – 14th December 2013. The prompt for today People

vecchio libro con stilografica

Disclaimer: this post is not intended to hurt any one by their nationality, profession, looks, creed etc. It is just meant to show my own shortcomings.

It just happened

We were taught to help around the house from a  young age. While my sister was amma’s second in command, my brother used to bring the milk from the dairy farm which was a bit far away.  He would take his cycle and pedal away. Sometimes he would even get vegetables. For this contribution of theirs they would get pocket-money, yes we had to work for our pocket-money.

But when they can earn, why not me, I asked. The age difference between them and me was quite a bit but I wanted my pocket money too. And for that the parents decided that my job was to prepare the dinner table, the only meal which we all had together except the days when Papa had second shift and would return home by 10.30p.m.

My mom was particular that the plates would be washed again and wiped before keeping them on the table. Owing allegiance to my butter fingers everyday one or the other plate would fall. Papa would call out, ‘What fell now?’. I would cry out, ‘The plate. But it is not my fault, it just happened‘. It was good that we ate on  stainless steel plates. If not the regular intervals at which i dropped plates would make us bankrupt. It happened with such regularity that everyone else would come and sit on the chairs knowing that dinner was ready. The aunty living next door would send around some special dish which she had prepared just on hearing the sound of the plate crashing.

My specialty did not remain with crashing plates. I destroyed whatever I touched. Like my brother had a collection of pens which he would keep in a safe place. Once I had severe viral fever and did not go to school for some days, none of the pens survived. When he came to know he advanced toward me with flaming eyes and flaring nostrils. My excuse, ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened‘.

My husband loves glassware. Before my arrival he had beautiful vases, fruit bowl etc. None of them survived. When his favorite vase broke, he asked me almost teary eyed, ‘How did you manage to break this’. My reply, ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened‘. He never bought anything brittle from then on.

My niece is almost my copy both in looks as well as habits. The only difference being she is an extrovert, I was not. Nothing escapes her hand. Whether it is a glass or a CD. Her excuse, ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened‘.

My son is no better. While his things survive, ours do not. Pens, CDs, mobiles every thing is at risk when he is around. You guessed it right, his excuse. ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened’.

Traditions you see, in our family, are carried on. 😀

—————————————————————————————————————

This post is part of Write over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian bloggers by Blogadda. The theme this week being fun with repetition, My sentence, ‘But it is not my fault, it just happened‘.

The missing 7

The parents were very happy today. The son was joining school. The daughter was already in Grade 4. As they watched the daughter holding the son’s had and taking him inside the school campus, their heart swelled in pride. And though there was a tinge of sadness too that the son had become big enough to go to school, the mother was a bit relieved too for the boy was a handful. Always busy, you never knew what he was up to. She was looking for some hours of peace and some time to finish the housework quickly. Now she could pursue her other interests too.

The days flew now. The children had to leave home by 6.45 am. Getting them ready was a herculean task but then it had to be done, isn’t it?

But more tough was the teaching part. Yes, they learned their major lessons in the school but the homework, that had to be done. It was alright with the daughter she just needed some guidance the son needed much more. First of all he would not sit, if he sat he would not listen, if he listened, he would not concentrate. Oh, such a bother. And while the mother struggled, the father bit all his fingernails and the neighbors lost their tranquility.

‘Come on, boy’, the mother would say ‘one two three..’

The boy would play on with his truck and say, ‘One two three four five six eight, nine ten’

‘No, not again’, the mother would say, ‘you have missed seven once more….Say seven’

The boy running the truck over the sofa would dutifully say, ‘seven’

‘Repeat’, she would say.

‘Uhh, huha’, he would say

Exasperated she would throw the truck away and scream, ‘Pay attention’.

This went on for some 10 days. The boy could now count till 20 and yet miss 7.

Father had a brilliant idea. ‘Let us teach him counting in Konkani and then maybe he will learn to say seven’, he said.

So then they started, ‘Ek, doni, teeni, chaari….’

The boy learned that too fast as he was anyways hearing it at home everyday.

The parents beamed, it looked like the end of their worries. ‘Come on count in our language’, they said.

He started, ‘Ek, doni, teen, chari, paanch, sah, aath, nau, dha’.

Again he had missed seven. Exasperated they sat. All their vision of making their son successful in life melted away. Forget about anyone being a doctor or an engineer, how would he pass Grade 1 if he did not count right.

Some sleepless nights later, mother said, ‘Let us go and meet the class teacher, maybe she will have a solution’.

‘Will, she help’, was fathers doubt.

‘What is the harm in trying?’, mother asked.

And so one day dressed in their best, they went to meet the teacher. It was break time and the teacher was surprised to see them.

‘Any problem’, she asked.

They nodded.

‘What?’, she asked.

After some moments of hesitation mother told.

Teacher saw the anguish and hid a smile. The tensions parents took….

‘Well, from today make him count only till seven and no more. Once he starts saying seven, you can proceed further’, she said

‘Will it work’, asked father.

‘Try’, said the teacher.

They went back home. They were so happy, they felt so light.

And so that day, mother asked,’ count from one to seven’

He started, ‘One two, three, four five, six, eight…..’

‘No, no, count from one to seven, here I will help you’, she said and she counted with him from one to seven

This followed for a week till one fine day the boy started saying, ‘one, two, three four, five, six, seven’.

Ah, the joy of hearing the word seven, the girl clapped, the parents danced. The boy looked on in amazement.

And so that is how the young boy learned to say seven.

That young boy is now an engineer working in a good position in a Steel Plant and also happens to be my brother. 🙂

_____________________________________________________________

Yesterday we saw how a grandmother gives some wisdom to her grandchildren and today we saw how a teacher helps parents with some basic teaching. So these were my two tributes to teachers.

I am taking part in the Write Tribe festival of Words 1st to 7th September 2013

WTFestivalofWords

P.S. Sorry folks, running a tight schedule today, will not be able to visit your posts and comment on them. Please forgive

7 moments of bliss

Statutory warning: Brag post ahead 🙂

My parents especially my father belong to that school which thinks that praise may make their child proud. My mom was more eloquent but it is Papa who is learning to be so. And so during the growing up years we would scan his face to catch that blink of appreciation on his face. I suppose that is how I have learned to study faces.

Result days were always tense days for me. Surprisingly I have never been afraid of exams. And unlike others who could tell exactly how much they would score, I could never do so. Yes I was confused then too. So it is understandable how tense I must have been on result days. And on annual exam results, sometimes Papa would come to school and usually when he came I would be among the top three. (call him my lucky charm :P). Standing up onstage, seeing the smile on his face amongst the crowd, later on going to the mithai shop and buy chocolate barfis….ah such bliss.

I was in seventh I had participated in an essay competition. It was a National level essay competition. I won a prize. I was scared to announce it at home. Things were not good financially then and the idiot me thought that we could not afford to go to New Delhi for the award Ceremony. The Prime Minister was supposed to hand over the prize. I broke the news late in the evening. My father asked me why I had not told earlier. I told the reason. He just said, ‘No problem is big enough for us to go for such an award’. Needless to say I stood with my mouth open.

I was working in Mumbai. On a weekend I decided to go to Mangalore as my parents too had come there for some function. I reached by bus early in the morning. The bus had arrived quite early and there was no one to receive me. So I took an auto and reached home. My cousins were shocked. ‘Why?’, my father asked, ‘She is an independent lady now, she can defend herself’. Now that statement trebled my self-confidence.

During that time itself I was going through a very lean phase, careerwise. He wrote me a long letter. You have your grandmother’s genes. If she a semi literate person could raise six children amidst all odds during those times, you an educated lady who is level-headed, practical and equipped can do much better‘, he said. From that moment on I have never said quits.

After I was operated for pituitary adenoma in Hyderabad and returned to Vizag. lots of friends would drop home to ‘see’ me. One acquaintance, a doctor, told ‘I feel happy that even though you were being operated for tumor you were so calm’. My father just said, ‘that is my girl, brave and strong‘. 🙂

I conceived after lot of complications. When I was wheeled out of the Operation theatre, I had tears in my eyes. Tears of joy, of course. And while all were oohing and aahing over the baby, my father screamed, ‘Why what happened, why are you crying?’ My mother had a tough time getting him back to normal. Needless to say I will always be a baby in his eyes.

And recently when I took a class for children on the 12th chapter of the Bhagvad Gita at Vizag during the vacation. Papa came for the first class and sat for the entire length. At the end, he took me aside and said, ‘the class was excellent, May God bless you.’ It was my floating in air moment

_______________________________________________________________________

Written as a part of Write tribe Seven day Festival of words 1st to 7th September.

WTFestivalofWords