Mine your own material

This is in response to Day 17 on writing 101:

Tell us about a time you’ve left an object, place, person, or even an idea behind — and had to move on.

Bombay is a city of dreams. For me too it was, it is.

I spent nearly two decades in this city. I came to this city as a young girl in my early twenties when I got a job. This Metro city has a magnetic effect. Whoever comes here  gradually falls in love with the city inspite of it being called fast paced. She takes into her arms every one who comes to her , and gives an experience of  warmth, struggle, love, independence, exposure and the various other ingredients that are required to experience life.

Its a city for everyone- for the rich as well as the poor. I have always felt that she has a beat, a rhythm, a pulse to her. She is a city who never sleeps.

She gave me – my first job, my first house, my first love, my bundle of joy , friends, an experience and exposure which taught me so many things in my life.  As I started loving the city immensely there came circumstances because of which I had to relocate to another city. I think relocation is not the word- uprooted would be an appropriate word.

My heart was torn. I felt very sad too . Although I moved to another city which is equally very developed but my heart does not belong here.

This was the time I came across the book ” who moved my cheese”?  by Dr Spencer Johnson and it helped me to deal with change in life, It taught me how to adapt to change, how to look at life beyond the comfort zone.

Well, after moving to another city, I try to look at the positive side that the city has to offer me. I did learn couple of things here . I just hope change leads to something better and I manage to fall in love to the new place too.

Although Politically its called Mumbai now, for me it will always be Bombay- as that was how it was called when I moved to this city to build my dreams.

For my blogger friends who understand hindi- this is the song which is very apt for me when I started my life after marriage in Bombay

” do  diwaane  shahar  mein,  raat  mein  yaa  dopahar  mein
aabodaanaa  dhoondhte  hai,  ek  aashiyaanaa  dhoondhate  hain”

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The Gulmohar Tree

GULMOHAR  TREE

The monsoon is yet to arrive . There is a rain deficit in this region. Some days there is a light drizzle & the place cools up like any other place. It feels so good then and then I don’t bother to think of the drought like situation that the newspapers talk about or the more severe water shortage & power cuts.

There are many Gulmohar trees all around. Summer time they are in full bloom with the red and orange flowers. Its a beaut….i….ful sight. All the more beautiful with the red & orange carpet of flowers on the ground. In fact I have started admiring nature all the more since I moved here . I realize that how studies & work front kept me so busy all these years that time just slipped by..
My twenties & thirties ………..time just flew…… I might talk about it some other time.

when I was in 1st to 3rd grade my childhood was spent in Allahabad, nd I clearly remember there were Gulmohar trees on the road in front of our building . We as kids would play under its shade. Then we moved places and the word Gulmohar took the form of the English text book ” Gulmohar Reader” while in school.

Now, coming back to the Gulmohar trees during my walks I have started noticing the different coloured flowers on the different trees, stopping to admire them, trying to take in as much as I can with my eyes. I have started paying attention to the little details of nature with more interest , like there are different times in a year when different flowers appear on the various trees & I realize how I have missed so much in all these years when I look around . I have started appreciating the different hues of the colour green too with more enthusiasm.

Of all the trees Gulmohar flowers attracts me so much. I am totally in awe of the Gulmohar flowers red, fiery orange & sometimes yellow too. They bring a smile , a feeling of joy and they are a feast to my eyes since a few months.
But,
Slowly the carpet of flowers is disappearing & I in my heart of hearts say a small bye to them every day as I see the flowers receeding in number.
Wishing that I will meet you again next summer

GANESH CHATHURTHI

This is in response to Day 15: Blogging 101-Create a feature labels-

My label-  My thoughts , experiences

GANESH CHATHURTHI

Lord Ganesha’s arrival brought rains . Its been pouring
cats & dogs since the last three days. There is greenery all round.
The entire place is free of dust . ( muddy puddlesis a different story).

Vinayaka seems to be saying I will arrive once the whole city has been
cleaned up .!!

This year our complex Ganapati is for three days. We have an eco friendly Ganesha made of clay sans colours ( if the paints are used they are chemicals which are toxic to the water body when immersed)

It is  a very nice feeling as if Ganesha is amidst us, maybe all the more because our
complex is not very huge and has just six buildings. There is an air
of festivity all around. I look forward to the morning & evening Aarti (ritual of worship-song sung in praise of the deity, when lamps are being offered)
time.
Its also the time to wear saris, to have a look at all the
colourful saris & other outfits clad by others.

The Mahaganapati Homam is a time when the chanting of holy mantras just seems to bring positive vibrations around. I feel lucky to have learnt Sanskrit while at school . Never liked the
third language studying while in school. But since now I am able to
understand , make out a little meaning when the shlokas (prayer), mantras are being chanted, I find it enjoyable. I thank my school for having introduced Sanskrit .

The prasadams (offering to the Lord)  that we get after the evening puja (rituals in worship10626635_696778777038133_3413941923418747777_n) are something I love.
Being a southey I am all the more familiar with puliyodarai ( Tamarind rice), bagala baath ( curd rice), chakara pongal,   ladoos ( not the moti choor type but the Tirupati ladoo type),  besi bela baath,  lemon baath ( baath means rice),  sundal,  rava kesari……………. yummmmy

The quantity served is quite sufficient & filling ,no need to
prepare dinner. And, yes if someone in my family does not relish all
this its time for DIY in the kitchen for them.!!!!

Finally, its Ganapati visarjan (immersion of Lord’s idol)  time . A part
of my mind asked time to tick slowly so that Ganesha could stay a
little longer . As we bid goodbye to the Vignahartha , I  am going to
miss Him all the more when I see the place where He was seated
blessing one & all.

Finally, its time to say “Ganapati bappa morya , pudhchya varshi laukarya”.

Recreate a Single Day

This is in response to Day 14- writing 101

Recreate a Single Day:
write a post that takes place during one single day
BRAHMA  KAMAL396432_411752092207471_1500494047_n 533614_411751448874202_2032634840_n

It is almost 2 am at night. As I am going to bed ,I realize that it is the little things in life that make us happiest. A simple pleasure  derived from simple appreciation has made me very happy tonight.

Today morning on my way to work I bumped into mausi (elderly lady in Marathi language) . She started talking to me in fluent marathi and I could make out that she was talking fondly about some plant  and it made me  wonder, what is the big deal about a plant!!

At around 10pm , I was in the midst of corrections when the doorbell rang.
It was mausi . She asked me to come down to see the “Brahma Kamal” & offer prayers to the flower. In my heart of hearts I thought-is she crazy?-prayers for flowers !!! that too at this time of the night!!! I told her politely that I would see the flower the next day morning. But she kept insisting that I should come since the flower would not be there in the morning, and I again thought to myself -“how could that be possible if no one  plucks it ! Anyways, I finally had to say-ok

On reaching down there was excitement in the air. There were many ladies and gents downstairs and were talking v excitedly about a flower.  I learnt that the flower starts blooming late in the evening  & blooms fully by midnight and then starts closing down after midnight. Also that this flower bloomed only once in a year which makes it very auspicious. People had been invited to watch this flower bloom .

I must say the sight of the two white flowers which they called “Brahma Kamal” was breathtakingly beautiful. I was seeing them for the first time. They were actually growing from a leaf and not from a stem or a stalk.

The ladies performed aarti  (songs sung in praise of a deity, when lamps are being offered- is a hindu religious ritual of worship) , offered prayers. Tt was celebration time.

I on my part was amazed by all that I was watching around  the– devotion, the knowledge about nature which mausi  had-(which in today’s world is limited to the so called educated ones including me )  the importance that humans in the early ages gave to nature & looked forward to with so much enthusiasm.

I must admit I did feel blessed to witness something like this and be a part of something which had so much importance attached to it. I was glad that I had come to see this “Event”

I came back home and the flower made me google to know more about it. I came to know it is called by another name and not the “Brahma Kamal”, but it is something similar to “Brahma Kamal”- anyways that name was  no more important to me. I was already impressed by the flower.

Play with word count

In response to Day 12 Writing 101:  Play with word count  ( 50/100 words) In today’s post, pay attention to the total length of your post:

Examination  Hall

The students are seated inimages (2) the examination hall . The bell rings and the three hour duration examination begins.

I observe what a sharp contrast it is ,as the venue and time span is same for me (invigilator) and students but our brain activity  is so different!! For students brains  at their productive best I feel -sharp, thinking , concentrating, recollecting, as they are answering their papers. For me a very different frame of mental activity-least productive I feel. For them every minute is precious and clock is ticking fast whereas for me the clock is ticking is very slowly.

Make a Prompt Personal

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Decisions, Decisions.”

This is in response to Blogging 101: Day 11

Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt.

Make a Prompt Personal

How are you more likely to make an important decision — by reasoning through it, or by going with your gut?

While taking a decision I normally go through all the pros and cons, try as much as possible to reason out, let the head rule over the heart most of the times .

I try to accept that sometimes things don’t go as I want them to in life and I have to  adapt to that.

It seems that sometimes I have a strong sense of  intution, and allow it to guide me in the most uncertain of situations!   Experiences  have led me to believe that at times my gut feeling can’t be wrong. There have been times when I ignored my sixth sense in the quest of being objective and things did not work as smoothly as I would have wanted it to be.

Taking a decision sometimes is like a churning of the mind, driving me crazy. At such times I pray to the Almighty to lead me higher, lead me deeper, lead me beyond .

I try to do what I feel is best at that point of time.imagesZED7L3LOimages

Writing and not Writing

This is in response to Day 11 on Writing 101:  Writing and not Writing

What do you do when you’re not writing? How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed? What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?

Today, publish your post in any form you wish, as long as you focus on one or all of these questions.

Writing and not Writing

1)  What do you do when you’re not writing?

When I am not writing I am busy with the activities of day to day routine. But since WordPress is accessible at the touch of the screen , there is also a tendency to keep checking  for new notifications, new posts ,WhatsApp messages , emails etc that I am so addicted to now . So in a way there are times when technology does distract me!!
2) How do you reset and return to this dashboard, refreshed?

I am very new to the blogging world, the blog bug has bit me . After my son and husband leave for school and office respectively the first thing in the morning I do is to see what is the topic of the day in blogging 101 & writing 101.
If it’s a topic that I can relate to immediately, my mind keeps thinking and preparing for the write up as I go about the day’s activities. I try to start keying in whenever I am able to squeeze some time . If it’s in the afternoon its post tea . But once I start writing I like to be left alone in my world of thoughts without any disturbance.

3) What do you need in your day-to-day life to maintain balance: Running? Yoga? Gardening? Painting? Cooking?

I like to practice Yoga on a daily basis. It gives me flexibility. I get a chance to meet people in the Yoga class and its refreshing to be able to do practice in a group. I also like home decor, so there could be days when I am absorbed with some creative idea and it makes me happy. These days I also like to read new posts by other bloggers in this community of writing 101 and blogging 101. I am really amazed by the fact as how everyone writes so differently and so beautifully express their thoughts.

Over a Cup of Coffee

This is in response to Day 10 on Writing 101:  Today, write an update post in the form of a virtual coffee date.
use a coffee shop as your inspiration.

  • Set your poem or short story in a cafe.
  • Go to your neighborhood spot with your laptop or notebook and free-write for 20 minutes, prompted by what you observe.
  • Love or hate coffee? Tell us why.

I take the liberty to change it to

“Over a Cup of Tea” as I am a tea lover and find coffee, chocolate -anything to do with cocoa bitter!

Over a Cup of Tea

Finally the Rain Gods decided to bring some respite to the region.We were reeling under a deficit monsoon this year. I love the rains. It washes the entire city and in one heavy shower cleans the entire city. I was watching the rain and sipping piping hot tea when my  twin sister  called me up to discuss her vacation plans. After I finished talking with her about the forthcoming holidays I was immediately transported back to my childhood since she mentioned about some places that we had visited as kids with our parents. I felt so good  sipping tea and watching the rain as I was carried into flashback mode.

How rightfully it is said that childhood memories  remain with us for a lifetime .It becomes a part of us and we hold on to the good memories with great fondness.

I spent my early growing up years in Allahabad and Delhi. Those were the days when vacations  were meant to be enjoyed, play outside with friends instead of attending summer camps

I have very fond memories of my summer vacations when we would visit our grandparents home in south India. Travelling by train all the way from Allahabad or Delhi to Trichy involved changing trains at Madras ,  ( I would not prefer to write Chennai but would instead write Madras as that is what it was called then!) and taking another train for the onward journey to Trichy. It used to take 3 days to reach our grandparents home.

As kids the train travel excitement would commence the day the tickets were booked. We are three siblings and we would immediately announce as to who would sleep on which berth. The one who announced first would always want the upper berth . There would also be announcement of who would sit on the window seat first!. Traveling by train used to be fun.

The ticket used to be of thick cardboard and small in size , ( like the one that pops out in a  coin operated weighing machine in a railway station ). It was also a time to look forward to weighing oneself in the coin operated  machine at the station and read the forecast with an actor/ actress pic on one side. That card  that would come out of the machine mentioning the weight will be preserved by us!!

A Surai ( earthen pot) too would be a part of our luggage . Travel was by normal non ac coach and we never ever felt of cribbing or grumbling about the heat.. Amma would carry idlis , lemon rice,tamarind rice,curd rice,vadams and pickle in a stainless steel carrier. The food used to be consumed in the order of their shelf life on the first day . From the second day it was food available in the different stations that were bought. Water was refilled in the surai in a station.

Nobody bothered about using a hand sanitizer, dettol soap or mineral water. Life still went on without any illness.

We would play a game of cards, ludo, snakes and ladders . The co passengers too would become our friends and play with us. A bonding happened during the course of the journey.

I loved to watch the changing landscape as the train chugged from one state to another. Somewhere without our realizing it a learning process was happening simultaneously. We were actually visualizing the  physical features of the land , be it plains,rocks., rivers, plateaus, valleys,vegetation and like a sponge every detail would be getting lodged in our memory.

Even we learnt about food,snacks,fruits that were special to a particular place when the vendors would hop in to sell their items at different places. It was also a learning about the different outfits worn by different people  in India during our journey from north to south or even vice versa.

Getting to learn how to use the Railway timetable book was fun. We would keep asking Amma and Appa as to which station was approaching. We learnt about big stations being called as ” junctions”.

We would pass by tunnels,rivers, thick vegetation. , bridges.

Throwing coins into the river was another fun activity that we looked forward to. Since a river is considered to be a Goddess, the significance of throwing a coin into a river is like an offering to the Goddess.

The innumerable trips up and down the ladder would be so thrilling when trying to reach from one level of berth to another.!

My parents have given me a beautiful childhood . There are memories of different kinds. But the journey by train is something I cherish a lot. It was a time to bond, learn, spend more time together , play, watch the world outside.

The ” Jayanti Janata express” ( Allahabad to south) and ” The Grand Trunk Express” ( Delhi to Madras) have left their imprint in my mind.

On nearing Madras , we would sing the song ” Madras nalla Madras”.

Our relatives would be waiting at the station to receive us  and would give home  food packed for our onward  journey to Trichy. Sometimes it even meant changing station in Madras.

We would bid goodbye to the surai in the train itself which had helped us in giving cold water to quench our thirst in the summer heat

From Trichy it would be a bus or bullock cart to the village where my grandparents stayed.

We never felt the journey tiring or boring. These are memories that are etched in my mind and I cherish them.

At the same time it sometimes makes me wonder  if the current generation is missing something like this? Because for them vacations and travel both have taken a new different meaning!!

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The rain was still pouring as I mentally drifted back from flashback mode . But it was a beautiful feeling as the visual images of my train journey with my family kept coming in front of my mind’s eye for quite some time !! So it was a fantastic evening over a cup of tea that I spent with myself!

Reinvent the letter format

This is in response to Day 9 on Writing 101

Today, write your post as a letter. Approach it in any way you’d like, but if you’re not sure what to write, here are ideas:

Reinvent the letter format

I am writing this letter to a squirrel whom I have always adored as a kid

Dearest Mischief Maker,

Hello  cutie naughty little squirrel, I have always admired you since I was a little girl. We had gulmohar trees just in front of my house and a huge garden too in the front.
I would watch you as you would keep going up and down ,up and down the trees n number of times. You were always on your feet. I remember never having seen you sit in one place, always ever on the move. It seemed as if you are always upto some mischief!!
It was my wish to be able to play with you, take you on the palm of my hands and talk with you, feed you. But you never ever came even near 😦
I always envied you too 😊, because you never had to go to school. Whenever I saw you while doing my homework or studying I would think, lucky fellow- never has to study!!
You had the opportunity to keep playing,playing to your hearts content too I always felt. I remember being  taught the combination of rat- cat, cat-dog etc but  I never heard anyone say anyone wanting to pounce upon you.
As a kid we used to read a pictorial comic called Amar Chitra Katha. The Indian epics like Mahabharat and Ramayan has many stories that are a part of this series. I once happened to read the story how you got the three stripes on your back as you were blessed by Lord Rama himself and you tiny cutie pie mpressed me all the more!!

You also taught me important lessons of life that always work,play,be on your feet,never laze ,be cheerful, be playful- be unique even if you are small. Your small twinkling  eyes are magical for anyone to start liking you!images (2) images

My fondness for you increased all the more more when I got to see the naughtiness of the duo “Chip and Dale” who always tried to trouble Donald Duck .I used to love watching that cartoon .

The current generation hardly gets to see you as they are more absorbed in playing virtual games inside their confined, weather monitored homes.
Whenever I see your community of pranksters around, my heart skips a beat and I suddenly feel nostalgic.
Love you squirrel 😊😊😊😊

May your tribe increase more and kids venture out of their homes to watch you

wish I could hug you

lots of love

A Human admirer

Hook ‘ em with a QUOTE

In response to Day 7 writing 101- Hook ‘ em with a QUOTE

Today, use a quote or passage from something you’ve read to introduce your post.You can write about anything for today’s post — the only requirement is that you begin with a blockquote, which you can create in your post editor by clicking the quotation mark icon

Doing what you like is freedom.

Liking what you do is happiness.

                                                       — by  Frank  Tyger

I believe if every person in life right from the childhood to life in later stages experiences the above quote, the world would be such a peaceful place to live. Nobody would get a chance to grumble and the productivity of every activity by every individual would be more as everyone is getting to do things as per ones liking. By this statement I mean of the positive activities ( and not negative activities ).

But does every individual get to live such a life? Alas, no 😡
There is so much social,economic,peer pressure in the world today. .

Parents want their kid to attend so many extra curricular activities that a kid is made to attend one activity class after the other. Does anyone care to ask the child , little one do you want to go to x, y, z class ??, do you like the x, y or Z activity? And the grind  begins for a child.

I believe it is very necessary to do what one likes. The choice should be given right from childhood by parents without discriminating between a boy and a girl child.
Give them wings, provide the fire underneath their wings to soar up in their journey towards their liking and the joy in their expression will make them want to soar higher and higher.

This principle is applicable in every relationship.The husband should not expect that the wife should only cook, babysit, do the laundry and other household chores irrespective of the wife is going for a job or is a homemaker. He should make an effort to lend a helping hand whether he likes it or not because I am sure in today’s age no girl is interested to do the thankless job on a daily basis. And in such a situation when she has to do work ( even if maids are there to do some work) that is not interesting, boring day in and day  life becomes uninteresting.

Provide each other an environment to grow , do things of ones choice and just see how the garden of  life becomes colourful and blooms in no time.

Parents should see to it that rules are the same for a daughter and son, same for daughter and daughter-in-law, son and son- in-law, wife’s parents as one’s own parents for a husband & husband’s parents as ones own for a wife.

When such an amicable scenario exists where everyone will be able to do what one yearns for the intention behind every action would be beautiful in thoughts too and the world will be a lovely place to be.

Mother Earth would be blessed!imagesQU51DLJ5 imagesAAB082O2 imagesCW476QF2 imagesHAKIQ58Z