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A dream to remember

Is this your brother’s home’, Bappamma (Paternal grandmother) asked.

‘Yes Bappamma’, I said.

‘Take me around’, she said

My brother had recently shifted to his apartment given by the steel plant. The previous year he had got employed in Vizag steel plant. In some months my parents too had shifted along with him. But he had got his own apartment that year. I was studying in Mysore and was having my summer vacation. My sister too had come and we were having a nice reunion.

Mom with my sister and her son would sleep in one room. Another room was for my brother. Me and Papa would enjoy watching TV in the hall and would sleep there only.

‘So is this the hall’,Bappamma asked.

‘Yes’, I said and then showed her the rooms, kitchen and the balcony.’The balcony is quite big’, she said, ‘good for drying papads and pickles. Your amma must be happy’.

I nodded.

‘Okay time for me to go’, she said

‘No Bappamma, you can’t go. Stay with us’, I pleaded.

‘No, my dear I can’t stay. My home is elsewhere now’, she said

‘NO……….NO’, I screamed

‘Reema, Reema, get up’…..it was my sister.

‘What happened’. I asked.

‘I saw Bappamma in my dream, you were showing her around the home and then she left’, my sister said.

Saying that I was shocked is an understatement. At the same time both of us had seen the same dream. Was it a coincidence, some extra sensory perception I have never understood. Maybe she came to see if we were fine or maybe we needed a closure.

Over a period of years I have been visited by a number of people who have left the world. My aunt, uncle both have visited me and conveyed some message. But the visit by my Bappamma was the most bizarre one. And it was indeed a dream to remember.

But once I started my spiritual journey these visits gradually stopped. I read somewhere that some lucky people are indeed guided by the Lord in this way . So maybe I am the lucky one. Because these dreams gradually made me yearn to know about the soul and its position in this world.


 

This post is a part of Write Over the Weekend, an initiative for Indian Bloggers by BlogAdda

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Bidding adieu

Yesterday someone asked me for the name of some book….I tried hard to remember it but could not. Maybe age is catching up but then I remembered that I had mentioned it in my blog and so came down here and started browsing. And then memories came flooding by. How active I used to be. I remember there used to be at least a 100 posts a year.

Yes, priorities change. when Searching self was born, I was doing just that…’Searching self’. But then when I found my true calling the writing reduced or rather it moved to other avenues. But when I read through my old posts I was inspired. Am I a narcissist….who knows; maybe.

But then there are people who have been writing blogs for quite a long time. I really admire them. Consistently writing for a long time is really an art. Some of them have evolved into professional writers; maybe that helps.

2016 is about to end and a New Year beckons. Personally there will be a lot of changes. I just hope that everything happens smoothly.

So here is wishing you all a Very Happy New Year and hopefully lots of writing in 2017

I am unique

I am a housewife

and I am proud about it

and no no one forced me to be one.

In case you wonder what happened to me suddenly, let me put it straight; I am fed up of the Women’s day messages. Yes, I am a woman that too a housewife, But I have not sacrificed. I mean every other message that I get talks about the sacrifices that woman make. Maybe I have but so has my husband. Most of the time, he is the one, who holds back his wishes, his wants for our sake.  My sacrifice if any must be minimal. You may say that I am lucky. Maybe I am. I have not been abused, my wishes have not been sidelines,  my voice has not been subdued, And I do not think that my rights have been subjugated.

We just lead ordinary lives. Each respecting the other and adjusting to the numerous demands of life.

Yes I am the first one to wake up and the last one to sleep. So is it a sacrifice? I don’t think so. It is just that I can take a nap when I am free. The rules of time do not apply to me much. When I decided for marriage, when I decided that family will be my prime responsibility, it was my choice. A choice that my husband did not get.

Yes I am lucky. I haven’t faced discrimination. As a youngest child, my parents had gathered enough experience to understand that I was an individual in my own right. I was given the same opportunities as my brother got and sometimes more. The only restriction that I had was that I had to be home before dark. Well I never had the need to stay out late for that matter.

As a wife my opinions are valued. As a daughter in law I may have faced prejudices but my family has always stood beside me providing the moral support which I needed.

Today when I balance my home, my child’s education, seva I don’t feel I am sacrificing anything. Because whatever I did was my choice. A decision which I took with my eyes open and a heart full of love. I wanted to be the backbone of the family, the one whom the others could confide in. I wanted to be there when they wanted me most. You may say that it is in my gene…the slavery, the ready to be ‘the doormat of the house’. I don’t think so.

Whatever we say it is the woman who makes up the home, she is the caregiver, she is the planner, allocator, and in many cases the one who looks after the financial planning too. The men may be the bread winner but it is the woman who runs the show.

Then why brand woman as people whose rights have been compromised or the ones who don’t have a voice. Many like me don’t run offices nor climb mountains but we build lives. And no we don’t yearn for a day or some declaration. We are just happy looking at the values we have built up.

 

Yes there are many who face odds. But for those; is it necessary to cry out and declare the entire human race as one who compromise on womens rights and needs. Is it so necessary to circulate the sob stories. Is it necessary t brand the males as predatory?

I am unique. I am special and no I don’t need a day to tell me that

 

Smile and share

As me and my son get into the car to wait for the  hubby to come and we can start our visits, the son gets busy with reading some signs while I get pensive. Six visits and then class. How to balance, what to say, how to finish on time are the confusions in my mind. Yes it is a holiday here but we are busy.

‘Amma, amma’, he shakes me.

‘Haan’, I come out of my reverie.

‘What do you mean by e-state. Does it mean that you can get your state in the computer’, he says

‘Huh, maybe’, I say.. Very often when I am too tired of answering questions, I resort to this technique.

‘So it is e-mail, e-commerce and e-state. Yay, I know three e words now’, he says.

‘Huh what…where did  you get such a word’, He has started reading by himself and I was worried about where he landed upon such a word.

‘See there’, he showed me a board.

MOTIVATION  REAL ESTATE it read. I burst out laughing, the pensiveness of the earlier minutes gone away. And everything looked easy, simple

How often we take life too seriously when all it takes is a hearty laugh to ease the situation.

As I start explaining to him the meaning of estate, I notice the road cleaner. The GCCC road cleaners are an amazing task force. They get up as early as 2.30 am and then begin to clean the roads and the bylanes. Not a single dirt remains on the roads. They empty the dustbins and go from road to road. Each team is given an area. On the return they again sweep the roads and empty the dustbins because by then it is already 9am.

And for all this each worker is paid just BD (bahraini dinar) 60-70. Which is a pity really. Whenever I can, I give the worker on my road, coat, shirts, trousers and of course food. I have some fruits in hand, so I walk down to where he is working. He notices me and breaks into a smile.

‘Bhaojanam ayindaa amma’, he asks in Telugu. We converse for some time and then I give him the fruits.

His eyes twinkle. No doubt with such meagre salary and the high cost of living, he must not have had fruits for months together.

I walk back with a spring in my steps, a laugh and some sharing is what it all needs to brighten up a day.

And I utter a small prayer for the joys in life.

The ‘braid’

Heard a very inspiring speech yesterday, which I just had to share with you all.

 

Have you observed the braids that girls/ women make?

The braid in Sanskrit is known as ‘veni’. Veni as in Triveni in Allahabad. Triveni is the confluence of three rivers-Ganga, Yamuna and the invisible Saraswati which flows in from the underground.  Similarly the veni or the braid needs three bunches of hair to be tied but only two can be seen.

Usually in life we are obsessed with ourselves-I, me, myself. Then we are concerned with our immediate environment concerning ourselves like our family, our friends, the money we make etc. What is the third angle to this triangle, which is the third part of this braid which connects the two-the self and the environment?

 

 

Have you ever been in a chokor home. It was a square-shaped house with an empty space in the middle. Vastu has different places for different functions. There is Agni where the hearth should be, water where the well could be etc.

Have you seen ancient temples. It is built in the center with empty space around it. Exactly the opposite to houses. Why?

 

The space in the middle is supposed to be Brahman or the place where God resides. Also God is supposed to be in the middle of our lives and our lives is supposed to revolve around Him.

 

But slowly houses became smaller, God was moved from the center to a corner then from there to underneath the staircase then he was pushed to the garage and finally he was ousted.

When God is ousted from a place, kaal enters. (kaal means time here it means bad times) Kaal enters with his wife, “ayyo”. (as in the expression ayyo) and children-‘quarrel’ and ‘hypocrisy’ and from then on there is no peace left.

So for peace to exist in homes, for happiness to flourish in a home, there is need to keep God in the center of our lives. God is the third angle of the triangle, He is the third bunch in the braid of our life.

And to keep God in the center of our lives CHANT and make your life sublime.

Images courtesy Google

 

Thoda pyaar Vyaar

Life has been pretty hectic this year. And obviously blogging and blog hopping has taken a back seat. Yes,  you may say where there is a will there is a way but then sometimes you have to prioritize.

There is so much to study. There is so much to  prepare too. Our scriptures h ave so much knowledge that if you dive into it you will find that you have wet only your fingers. Sorry for the lame analogy but the vastness is that much.

And then there are children to take care for. Now don’t get confused. I have but one. But there are others whom I take class for once a week. But for that I prepare weeks in advance. You may laugh at me but then the class has to be engaging and enjoying and creativity is the key word.

Combine it with a one week workshop in the 2 week break that children get after the final exam in March and you see what a chaos it becomes. Preparation, registration, arrangement, I tell you, it is not a child’s play. It takes energy and again creativity.

So with all this chaos, I manage to write here and there but blog hopping has reduced considerably. Don’t ask me to share, I don’t even know how to operate twitter or Google+. Yes, I live in the dark ages. I  open my twitter account and stare at it and hope things will operate by itself. Thanks to publicize in WordPress, I do not have to bother much about tweeting.

BUT still in these chaos I manage to read some blogs.

You may read Partha Sir’s stories. But he has another blog where in he gives a bit of gyaan. In a very interesting way he mixes up simple stories with necessary knowledge. Reflections it is called and reflections it is.

Deboshree of Paneer, pulao and Pune is one whose style I admire a lot. She can make the mundane of topic interesting. Though she doesn’t write much nowadays, whenever she does, I read it with interest admiring each word and sentence.

Krsnasteachings is another blog which makes understanding simple truths in interesting way. His posts often make me contemplate for hours together.

Jairam is a writer whom I admire a lot. Though he writes almost in all genre and topics, I admire his writing about The Mahabharat a lot. Bringing to life in simple words, those epics and holding your curiosity is no mean feat but Jairam does just that. Though he calls himself a Mahabore, he is anything but a bore

These are the four which hold my interest currently. If you read you will see all four have something in common, deep truths and simple language. Well, that’s what I like the most.

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This post has been written as a part of Festival of words at Write tribe. The prompt for today, show some blog lovewritetribe_festival_words_3

 

Going nuts over the coconut

We Konkanis love our coconut.  The morning begins with the sound of garr garr i.e the scraping of the coconut and then the mixer goes whirr with it  being ground for the chutney. In earlier days, once breakfast was over the women would oil their hair with yes…some coconut oil and then plait it. Next would be the turn of the kids. As soon as they were caught their hair was oiled and then it was the turn of their massage. Yes, kids were massaged  with oil regularly till they were 10 or so. And I believe that it is for that reason my ma-in-law, & my parents still have healthy skins even though they are in their 70s.

And then again started the process of garr, garr, the scraping of coconut for the lunch. The process of scraping coconut comes naturally to us. I never remember our elders ever teaching us how to  scrape coconuts… we just knew. Coconut is used to make chutneys, in gravies, in desserts. My mom I remember used to panic if there were no coconuts in the pantry, ‘how will I cook’, she used to scream.

So dependent on coconuts we are that the very first thing that the women used to do whenever some land was bought, was to plant saplings of the coconut. Men would just have to build their buildings around it.

My earliest memories of my tryst with coconut for personal grooming is when my mom would call me to oil my hair. I would do my best to avoid her. And if I got caught I would keep screaming, ‘enough’. So there was no scope of oil massages but then I went to hostel. Few months gone and I understood with the state of my hair and skin, that indeed I needed something. With my hair I was not that adventurous and stuck on to the good old coconut oil. But for skin I did. I tried everything that my hostelmates did, ripened banana, papaya, egg whites (ughh) everything and then realized that there was no need for all that. The family potion was good enough. And just before bath, applied some oil to myself and rubbed it nicely. Not for me the packs of egg whites and messy papayas. I was  fine with my coconut oil.

And then post delivery, my ma-in -law arrived with some special oil. It was of course coconut oil with some added herbs. My mother used to apply it liberally and then bathe me with boiling water. It was torturous then but my skin … it was soft and glowing.

Today I am a busy mom juggling too many things. And I do not have the 10 minutes required prior to bath. So what do I do, I just reach for my Parachute Advansed body lotion. Result a soft and glowing skin which does not need any more botheration.

This post is a part of Women’s Web Goodness of Coconut contest