Sunday, 26 February 2017

Runaway Train by Soul Asylum

The song is quite striking. Listen in the solitude and you would never want to come out. This can make you so beautifully distressed! I love the song, the lyrics, the history behind its making and the band, of course. It's one of those early songs that I gained mastery over very soon but could only record this eve. Sharing. Hope you to like it. If you do, write something nice but if you don't, well...what can I say? Tune in to the real one then. :)

Thursday, 23 February 2017

Fun February 2017

Today was the last session of my book club for February month. As I prefer to introduce a theme to every month, Feb's was G.K. (General Knowledge). By introducing a theme, you give children a fix direction. They head towards it and their development becomes guaranteed. Random growth is hard to observe and obtain. Hence, the idea of theme is well appreciated.

We did no silent reading today, much opposite to the routine. Kids came and picked a book from the G.K. section and then we read a bit of it aloud to everybody. It helps! The kid reading the book has to be involved with the text while others have to pay rapt attention. Because we do not stop just at reading. It gets religiously followed by question and answer rounds. I ask Qs. to them and then I see how much they have lent their ears to the book/s. It is fun as well as much interacting. If you ask me one thing that I have observed constantly in all my club kids, my answer would be - Kids love to speak! Give them a chance and you may not get your turn to open mouth. some times I have to tell them to pause so that I can put in a relevant point or re-order the discipline. All in all, it was a fun February. Pics are here - 

Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Is it okay to have less, even one friend?

Just the last week we installed the POP statue of the great monk Swami Vivekanand in a corner of our house. We had bought it from Kanyakumari a while ago but since then, could not find a corner suitable enough to place the great visionary. Now that finally we have, it only looks beautiful and may I dare say, inspiring. Every time I see him, his life, his work ethics and whatever amount of rest of the knowledge I have of him inspires me. When I find something hard to do, I look at him and say, "If he could do this, I can too!" I will post a picture of us some other time. Until then, have one from the trip taken.

One of the incidents from our Swami ji's life keeps me real. It is so natural and shows the depth of his thought process so well that it's a no wonder he led an exemplary life gaining tons of followers all over the world. So the incident in particular goes somewhat like this -

Once Swami Vivekanand went on the world tour. Alone. When he returned, his friends (or may be colleagues) mocked him by asking - What did you get from such a big tour? Because he had returned alone. Being very precise and honest by nature, Vivekanand replied - I got a true follower.

Finding a true follower or in today's era, a true friend is no less than finding yourself. So yes. It's absolutely OKAY if you have only ONE friend. That one person may be hold the key to finding yourself, to the treasures of life that you can't dig alone, to find an equilibrium in times of happiness and grief. A true honest friend is like a whole grain; works on its pace but you feel fuller for a lifetime. So be happy, be light, make merry because you have what many people crave despite of being in the crowd of acquaintances.

Researches say that intelligent people tend to have less friends. Because the smarter you get, more selective you becomes. I hope I did not send you on a run to check on your friend list.

P.S. Since this morning I am having this stubborn headache, refusing to let go of me. But now as I am getting done here, it has dwindled down by a great extent. I want to credit the pleasure of Writing and not to the cup of tea I made right before I started typing here.

Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Speak it out to be heard.

Remember one of my recent posts where I had talked of my mother and how she drenched me with motherly warmth? Here is the post Soak into the warmth. Read it first because the one I am writing now is its sequel.

In a few relationships, you have to act more as a Giver. You don't expect much in exchange and keep giving your time and energy to those precious people. One of them are parents. You keep in touch even when they get surprisingly busy and also when hours turn into days and days turn into weeks until they find some time and make a call to you. In the meanwhile, you play the role of Jesus, forgiving them wholeheartedly. But sometimes you do get crucified! After all, everyone has a line of patience. Don't judge me as keeping quiet is absolutely okay. You only mean to give them free space after a while so that they can continue doing their work and finish them while, you, at your place and position, too are continuing with your work in order to meet the deadline.

So I simply allowed my mother to have her breathing space and let her finish her busy schedule. In simpler words, I stopped making calls and let her be. It's important! She called yesterday in reply to my missed call. Love sometimes comes out in grudges and grunts. I could not resist any further and complained that she does not have time for me anymore. No matter whether the world is tumbling up and down, she gotta have some time to talk to her only elder daughter. She listened and laughed. How else she was supposed to handle it?

By making a call to me...all by herself...without me reminding or placing a message.

So she called today on her own and then we talked. Somewhere i thought I did a good thing putting forward the complaint. I said and that was why, I was heard. She said, 'Now you can't say I don't call you. See! I got some time for you before I hit the treadmill'. She does not jog as I do but loves to walk. We talked for some time and Jesus was happy once again.

Friday, 17 February 2017

The Naked Face by Sheldon

Today I finished reading The Naked Face by Sidney Sheldon. It took me two weeks to finish it. If you see the book, you will realize that the book should not last more than four or five days, a week may be. But two weeks sounds a little stretched. But I enjoyed reading it. Took my sweet time and thought about Sheldon and his protagonist, Judd Stevens. 

It's a murder mystery. Someone is out to kill Judd but who? Who could that be? The whole story revolves around it, exactly the way our pretty earth takes an inspection of the glowing sun. Somewhere the book is interesting. Sheldon has managed it well but over all? I am not sure. I did not like the book much. It felt Sheldon has tried to create unnecessary mystery out of nothing. Using big words of psychoanalysis (Judd is a psychoanalyst) does not work. At least for me. Thankfully I am not on any panel to judge this book or else...Sheldon's next murder mystery would be aimed at Me.

The only thing I liked in this book could be - the characterization of Judd's various patients. Sheldon has created an eclectic collection for Judd who seems to understand each one of them. Their problems and how Judd sees them and does the analysis is good. He is patient, understanding and his patients' privacy is his ulterior motive. There Sheldon has scored some points.

Next is Bleachers by Grisham. Let's see how it goes.

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Talk. Communicate. Express.

Before I put my wisdom tooth at work and initiate a conversation here, I just want to confess that the weather outside has become very chilly. The wind is restless and intends to sweep away anyone barring its way. One can't stay sans a jacket or sweater. Still, it's heavenly!

Now let's begin some serious talking. If I am to pull out a personal moment and pin it here, that'd belong to yesterday. Since a few days I had been sensing an invisible dusk of stress on my husband. I asked twice or may be thrice but each time the reply was casual. Finally I decided to put a stop to such casual replies (pun intended). After all, there is a limit to these. I am sort of frank in relationships and expect people to be honest too. So when I stayed persistent, the dam finally broke and everything that was packed behind it gushed out. We talked and talked for a long time...over the things that had turned into issues and also on potential stuff. Result? The dawn of content and relief.

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Soak into the warmth

I was busy in my work this afternoon when my mother called. Since a few days she had been ardently busy and could not avail five minutes to talk. Since she is the busiest person I have ever come across in my life, I let her indulge in all the necessary tasks she meant to give priority first.

When she called today, I thought for a moment to place an affectionate complaint about her being busy and not having time to talk to me but I refrained. She called and that was enough!

No sooner did I put the restraining order over myself that she said,

"I was meant to call you since a few days but could not! I was not feeling good for not being able to talk to you."

I felt myself warmed by her words. I asked to verify (and also to listen once again),

"Did you really feel bad at the inability to talk to me?" She confirmed in a firm yes, soaking me completely in her warm words this time.

What can I say here about how I felt at that moment. It just felt I was alive once again.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Do not give up to the failure

After wasting time skilfully (???) on Facebook after a loonngg hectic day, I am finally settled in the warmth of my blanket with a big piece of tranquility. By the way, I had one of a yummy cake this evening. No occasions. Got one as gift. So savored with family, society kids and a few friends.

Now staring at the screen thinking about what to write here, I finally decided to take help. Two minds get more ideas or that's what I believe. So my kid is sleeping next to me (or trying to sleep, you can say). I turned to him and asked to give me something from your day on which I can write as a blog post here. That post will be dedicated to you only. In a blink, he said - We should not lose ourselves to the failure.

Very good point. Upon asked, he said - 

'This morning when I went to play T.T. with my friends, I lost four matches but then I won the fifth one. When I lost one, I said to myself I'd work hard. When I lost the 2nd time, I said I'd work hard. When I lost the 3rd one, I said to myself I'd work hard but when I lost the fourth one, I said, Alright! Now I am going to play my best and finally won the fifth match.'

Great! I thought. Then I asked about his feelings, reactions, the stir one gets after a pile of failures. Did he feel any? He said, 'No. I just thought to myself that I'd work hard'. He continued:

'Then I played again in the evening and stood 2nd in the championship. If I had given up, I'd never be able to win. So I'd say, never lose yourself to the failure.'

Don't we all know this already? That giving up does not help? That determination, self-preservation and confident work wonders to win? But it was nice to hear from a kid. My Kid. 

Sadhguru of Isha Foundation says, We should not teach children. Instead, we should learn from them.

How aptly said!

Friday, 10 February 2017

Let the seed be a seed

They say no one should be self-complacent; that one should keep asking for more, keep striving for more. It is, of course, said on a positive note so that one can have a healthy development, a better growth. 

But since there is no universal rule to stick to and also because a writer can poke her nose into like anything, may be once in a while, you should be self-complacent; that staying happy and content in having what you already have can be good for your health. May be for once in a while, having the sight of a seed is enough, no one should bury it, water it and allow it to grow into something else. The seed might be there because it is meant to be only a seed and it should not turn into a flower or a leaf, nor into a big entity such as a tree. If the seed is not getting nurtured, it may not slow its growth or cause it to die. If it remains what it is then may be...the life in it will stay intact forever, away from this world's prying eyes, curious eyes unnecessarily trying to classify it with meaningless species and sub-species. The seed, since it is in a pure however a defenseless state, has its own little world hidden inside. It has the energy of the sun to nourish a giant planet, it contains the life required to feel the magic, it carries a womb within that has the ability to keep nourishing itself. As a seed, it is in the most beautiful and purest form.

But what if it does not want to stay what it is? What if it wants to grow into something else? What if it stops being self-complacent? In favorable conditions, it will grow, yes. It will turn into a beautiful flower one day, may be a big thick tree too. The thing which was almost a small collection of a few pollen grains earlier is now the bearer of hundreds of flowers and millions of grains. It sees nothing but its growth...good healthy growth and that is now what makes it happy. Not the sainthood of complacency where it has the universe by staying just as a tiny seed. It started asking to show its universe and at the end, gets cut or may be burned in some violence or may be gets uprooted because of some catastrophe. This is the price a seed pays for asking more, for stopping to be self-complacent. Infertility is the price that the seed has to pay now. It has no more a universe, nor the happiness. As a tree, it sure has grown but such growth is only a mark of degradation, not the positive development it had expected.

You see, if the seed could be capable enough to handle its uniqueness and its brilliance, it would have sustained the yearning of growth, the relentless longing for more happiness, the cravings for the unexpected. It only needed to be self-complacent.

We all are the nurturers. We start watering and nourishing the seed we get never realizing the fact that may be...may be we should let the seed only a seed. It is meant for that only! Because the moment you start asking for sun, you will also lose the sky full of stars.

Thursday, 9 February 2017

Aditya's freedom from the pain and misery

Today in the wee hours, a happy kid of our society passed away. He was Aditya. I have seen him may be twice but had found him always smiling. My husband says Aditya loved to give Hi fives. All in all, the loss of such a lovely child is hard to express.

On the health note, Aditya was not a very lucky child. He suffered from Down Syndrome and had developed Cancer. Since 15 days he was admitted in the hospital and was recovering well until pneumonia caught him in its paws. The situation started to turn bad from worse and finally he could not cope up with anymore struggle and succumbed to the silence that his family is dealing with now. Just an hour ago we went to his house for offering condolence to his parents. Seeing their sad eyes and slouched figures made us shiver. I don't need to explain their situation here because any one can imagine. It's really really tough for them to spend days and nights now because Aditya was their 24/7 attention.

During our heartfelt mourning, Aditya's father whom we call Balamurugan sir, told us that pneumonia affected him a lot and then doctors gave him high powered antibiotics which his body found impossible to digest. As result, Aditya's lungs ruptured and became the prime reaosn for his untimely death. It was such a terrible thing to hear. Just last year in August, one of our neighbours' husband passed away due to the carelessness of doctors. Doctors gave him pain killer when he was suffering with heart attack. One should never give pain killers in heart attack. It's fatal! But destiny has its own plans. And none of us can have a say in it.

Now before I go to sleep tonight, I pray for the family to get strength to cope up with such a big loss. I feel utterly sorry for them. And if I am not taken on the wrong note, I am happy for Aditya to have finally found freedom a kid of his age deserves...freedom from all the pain and miseries, freedom from the painful procedure of chemotherapy, and the inability to live a normal life. Wherever he is spreading happiness and giving Hi fives now, I salute his brave soul.

Wednesday, 8 February 2017

Humans and Nature side by side

Last week I was downstairs to have a walk. Times such as walks and work outs demand concentration. So I become very silent and concentrated in such time span. During my walk and somewhere between the music plugged into ears, I noticed the sight ahead of me. It got me curious. I can tell you a thing or two about being a writer. No matter what you do or what you say, where you go or where you come back from, you always have a third eye...a second perspective to the situation. Though the writer's hat is invisible to others yet it is always there on your head.

This was the sight I am talking 'bout:

While for others, it is something to do with the clean pavement and lights and buildings but no. If you look deeper you will find a hidden picture in this.

The sight is lined by two things: Left side by the Humans while Right one by the Nature. So different from each other yet standing side by side...letting the road connect them. While Humans are the ones full of so many impurities; it destroys whatever beautiful it finds around, Nature does the opposite. It is pure, serene, always minding its own business. Always about providing and less about taking. While one stands the symbol of the cycle of life and death, the other can be called the unanimous synonym of eternity. The sight is plain yet worth thinking - humans and nature side by side, allowing their differences to connect through the road.

Tuesday, 7 February 2017

Outsourced motivation

This evening when I was done straining eyes on laptop, I decided to give the house a nice boost of clean up. The sight was such that it felt it was a dormitory of kids. Things scattered here and there, used plates, spoons, glasses staring at the ceiling (or may be to their God praying for the rescue team) on the coffee table and dining table, the swing burdened with cloths, TV remotes flung in places like they had just tolerated the torture of short, it was the space no sane person would like to see. Explaining the situation of my house, however I know, is not very wise to put forth a good image of myself here but as once my sister had said - a tidied up house is a sign of a wasted life - I can afford to live in a mess for a bunch of times.

So at the climax of the cleaning, I had a very interesting conversation with my son.

Son: Mumma! Would you like to be Rabindranath Tagore?

I: Tagore? As in the famous writer and a poet? Well, why would I like to be someone else. i'd rather prefer to be myself.

Son: No. You didn't get me!" He seemed quite persistent with his perspective while I was firm at my cleaning in progress.

"I mean to say, he has written 50 novels and more than 3000 poems. Would you like to be a legend as big as him?"

I: Sure. Why not? But do you think I can manage to earn a good reputation as him?

Son: Why not, Mummy? In fact, you can do better than Tagore.

A smile erupted on my face. "So you believe that I can match him?"

Son: Of course! You can, Mummy. I do believe you can do better than Tagore.

And my cleaning was done.

Quite an irony to what I had said here yesterday. Not everyday you have to find motivation from within. It can be outsourced as well. Like my dear son filled me with some this evening. I could surely use some inspiration.

Monday, 6 February 2017

Appreciate yourself!

Taking a break from ~ 9 hours of working on the story. And once again, I am writing. That's the curse of being a writer. Writing becomes the pain while it continues to be the cure. 

Anyway... So how is your Monday preparing to pass out? In glee with loads of work? Or sleepy. still struggling to open eyes? If its the former, if you had started another week on a good note by completing  loads of work, it's time to pat your back. It's time to appreciate yourself. After all, at the end of the day, we all seek a heartfelt admiration for our honest efforts. Not every time you should wait for others to make you realize your worth by a certificate, degree, an award,  or any such token of appreciation. You can be your own cheerleader, or a merciful boss!

This li'l post reads so simple but if you do pat your back, you will realize you are not just appreciating the efforts you have put forth in the entire day but also carved out the upcoming path easier to walk on. Once the self is motivated, tough jobs starts to seem less scary, piles of files look less daunting; the deadlines give fewer nightmares and going through another hectic week appears no big deal. So go on, get on the stage, steal the limelight and give that little speech you always wanted to deliver to instill some inspiration. Be your own super star, be your own face to face with success after performing splendid during the whole day. Applaud yourself for getting a day handled so well!

But before you do, make sure the stage gets empty by the next morning and that you have to fill it again with another day of hard work. You again have to live up to your expectations. 

So this was my little speech for today. After all, I too had a hectic day, had I not?

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Pop a question and enjoy the rest

Few days back, I wrote a post on Why smart phones are called so? The thought was spontaneous but worth thinking over.

Yesterday I popped the same Q. to my bestie over the phone. If I can say one thing about the conversation that followed, it was quite entertaining. This morning I asked the same to my husband on the breakfast table. He too went way deep to answer and this conversation too was a good show for me to sit back and enjoy.

If you give the Q. a minute, it will amaze you by its simplicity and complication at the same time. If you wish to know what was there in both the conversations I mentioned above that I enjoyed so much, ask it to the closest familiar person, and you will know. Let me give you a heads up until you find one.

First and the foremost, he will scrunch his face, thinking over the category of the Q. (like weird or interesting). Second, the answer will comprise of two most basic logic - that phones are compact, easy to carry, and they have calling facility. These two will be the foundation of their argument. Funny thing is, people usually have the tendency to wrong you at the first chance. Somehow they try hard to find ways to oppose you and then try harder to convince you. This Q. in particular can be very fun and a good investment of time in understanding human psychology.

Earlier, computers were monstrous when it was made. Now they are impossibly sleek and a hell lot faster. Kindle is an amazing device, a true friend, fulfilling the need of every sentiment that a book lover feels while reading. Tablets too provide the same features as phones, including calling facility. Yet it is called just a tablet. Other electronics too have their own Opera to sing for but... Then why phones are smart? Why the privilege gets restricted to them only?

A little advice: think through before you ask. You don't wanna lose and definitely wanna enjoy your own invented show.

P.S. When my bestie sided with Apple brand, I agreed saying that yes, if you want to say iPhones are smart phones, that's justified. Because Siri works like a human being, and not a machine. Apple has those features that make their phones genuinely smart. Therefore, in the herd, Apple steals the show and its phones validate the term smart phones. Be flexible when it's required and appropriate, if you want the discussion to be a pleasant experience, where you are in control of your show.

Friday, 3 February 2017

Pick'A Book Club's First Ever Guest Talk

Yesterday (Feb 2nd, Thursday) in our book club, I had invited a special guest under its Guest Feature. Just as one book cannot give you all the knowledge, in the same way, I can't teach my club kids everything that they need to learn. Interacting with different minds, experiences and thought process give kids a huge plunge in their development, and that's the motive of our club: a healthy development.

Post some pondering, I finalized on Shanta S. Rao Aunty living in my block. She is an old lady but very jovial, friendly and with rich experience. I needed to introduce a face to which kids could relate easily and she seemed to be perfect for it. But before putting up the request, I was kind of skeptical whether she'd accept it. Task was easy but people are actually very shy in coming forward but much to my delight, Shanta Aunty immediately accepted my request to come and give a motivational talk on - 4 global faces that inspire us. We discussed the idea in length and at the end, she became the first ever Guest at our club. I was excited and much looking forward to the session.

A short bio of Shanta Aunty

The theme for February, Kids and I have decided - Knowledge is Fun i.e. we are supposed to read General Knowledge books (kids hardly lay hands on this section). On usual time the session commenced. Kids enjoyed book as well as the newspaper reading. Afterwards they had snacks. I keep it healthy and tidy to eat. When I told them we are having a guest today, they were confused and excited both at the same time. Because it was the first ever time when a third person (apart from me and kids) was joining us. I explained. Then Shanta Aunty came...with a box of sweets! Such a lovely gesture by her! I loved it! It wasn't necessary or told but her action shows how much considerate she is towards the kids. Then kids enjoyed the sweets along with rest of the snacks. And then started the fun.

Why smart phones are called so?

There was this idea for tonight's post but I seem to be forgetting it. With no additional grey hair in sight, I wonder why it's happening. Anyway, let's talk on something else.

Smart phones.

The name actually gets me curious. Why a simple device is being called smart? We have laptops and tablets, Play stations and Kindles. They are pretty smart as each of them offer an spectacular use of time but still they are the victim of some unknown prejudice. They work smart yet they are not being called Intelligent Laptop or Fun Tablet, Perfect Play Station or Kool Kindle.

When I come to think of it, only phones are being called smart because of one reason - That human needs it more than it needs us. That's why it is smart. Without getting under suspicion, phones are making us addictive and once it is done, the human gets dumb and it becomes smart. As simple as that! After all, it can never get a hang of us and thus, dumb.

I see around and find not only strangers but also closest of people hung up on their smart phones. And their addiction is way over the line. It's infuriating! And they also have a pile of complaints as well. Such as - burning eyes, eye sight problems, inability in sleeping, lack of love and understanding in relationships, growing distance, headache, heart ache, numbness in muscles, lowering I.Q. and so on. They know it's because of their phones yet the addiction has gotten so much under the skin that it has become almost impossible to get rid of the bad habit.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

The silver lining of every relationship

Each relationship has a highlight, or you can say, a silver lining that shines when grey clouds are hovering and the sky has nothing to offer but thunder and chills. In simple words, every relationship is based on a particular trait, that makes it strong and binds the people in it together. A mother and daughter relationship is more about sharing; a father and daughters' is about protection; siblings offer a pleasant time while friendships are based on mutual respect and sharing space.

But the very foundation gets vague and versatile in nature when it comes to couples - married as well as live in. Every other relationship may fade over time but when it comes to the one you love deeply, it gets tough to identify the nature of the relationship. Sometimes it feels it is made up of love while at other times, it can be about respect, understanding, communication...and so on. But if both the ends are willingly tied together, it means there is something, a silver lining that gleams during the dark times. It saves the relationship from getting charred away from the lightning and thus, works as a guide taking them in the right direction.

Therefore, it is significant to discover what is it that your relationship with your beloved is based on? What is it that ties a connection meant never to be severed? Once you discover it, it helps during dark times, tumultuous days. It helps to build a new boat from the same foundation to sail through another wind storm. That particular trait of your relationship brings the necessary balance and becomes your identity as whole.

My silver lining with my blog is purely based on understanding. It gives me space while I try my best to fulfill it responsibly. But right now, I am so drunk with sleep after working on the screen through the day that it's become hard to keep my eyes open. They are burning! While I have promised to write another blog post tomorrow, it's time to see stars and moon in the dreamworld.