The Future

This is in response to Day 20 on Writing 101:  THE  FUTURE

The Future

The term ” Future” always connects me to a popular song by Doris Day whose lyrics I just love. The lyrics of the song :

When I was just a little girl

I asked my mother, “What will I be?

Will I be pretty, will I be rich?”

Here’s what she said to me

“Que Sera, Sera, Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours to see Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be”

When I grew up, and fell in love
I asked my sweetheart, “What lies ahead?
Will we have rainbows, day after day?”
Here’s what my sweetheart said

“Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be”

Now I have children of my own
They ask their father, “What will I be
Will I be handsome, will I be rich?”
I tell them tenderly

“Que Sera, Sera
Whatever will be, will be
The future’s not ours, to see
Que Sera, Sera
What will be, will be”

Future has a certain element of mystery attached to itimages. Nobody knows what lies ahead in one’s life.

There have been occasions when I have visited a place, a locality, a city, an institution – not knowing that in future these areas will become an integral part of my life in the years to follow!!

It has happened with people too in my case. One keeps coming across faces, people – strangers at first for many days eventually become very good friends whom we cherish for a lifetime!

It has happened with  profession too in my case. People find themselves in an occupation that they never ever thought of  .

Even a month back I had never thought I would meet bloggers or I would hop into this blog wagon. One fine day I was surfing for something and came across ” Daily post” and I got to know about this forum.

Today is the last day on “Writing 101” . I am glad I joined it and got the opportunity to read innumerable posts. Every post is interesting and so different !

Its been a nice journey , and I look forward to join more writing events in the future too as and when time permits.

The prompts have definitely encouraged me to brainstorm and write in new ways and introduced me to new tools and resources.

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.

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!

Let Social Media Inspire You

In response to Day 5 of Writing 101:

Write a response to one of these tweets. Shape your post in any way you choose — agree or disagree with the tweet, or use it as a starting point for a story, personal essay, poem, or something else.

Let  Social  Media  Inspire  You

” I  just  realized  self  storage  really  is  where  you  store  all  your  past  selves”-Leah Reich

There are two kinds of people in this world- hoarders and non hoarders . I am a hoarder in the physical sense. I like to hoard things that at some point of time might have been of some use/ value to me although  today I no longer require/use it.  It could be that I might have some emotional attachment to it or simply because I feel ” who knows it could be of some use in some way some day” And there actually have been times that when I discarded some stuff , I would regret having discarded it as Murphy’s law will soon become applicable!

Same is the case with my experiences of past.  Good experiences are like hoarding things I am fond of and bad experiences are like – the stuff I don’t need yet I have stored them – bad experiences too stored in the storage shelf of my memory to alert me, remind me to learn from them.

Today I am in my seventies. I have seen so much in life, met people of varied types, have been through ups and downs in life.  Some incidents brought me happiness, joy,  some tragic, some brought pain, some taught me lessons. Now my children are grown up, have children of their own and are tied up with their families, career, kids. Life snatched away my soulmate in a tragic accident leaving me without a companion to share my sunset years.

I have realized that my life is like a rail journey , with the many stations being the different stages of my life.  At some stations passengers boarded the train,  some alighted when their journey was over. They were my co-passengers with whom I shared my so called  LIFE journey and each passenger was different . The journey has left an imprint in my mind . Each co-passenger has left behind a memory that is in my mind’s storage. And from this storage I keep distributing wisdom/advice/sermons to my children and grandchildren . Although some stored stuff has become outdated, some stuff are like the antique pieces which are priceless.

Life  is  only  travelled  once,

today’s  moments  becomes  tomorrow’s  memories.

Enjoy  your  moment,  good  or  bad,

because  the gift of life is LIFE  itself

A Story in a Single Image

In response to  Day 4 on Writing 101, today’s topic ” A Story in a Single Image”- Use one of the images as the creative spark for today’s post

a) city at night  b) Map  c) Jump in mid air  d) window

MAP

My first introduction to a map was while in primary school – The map of my country. I somehow started to have more liking for the political map  than the physical map in geography. India with her many states and union territories made an impact on my young mind. I got introduced to direction north, south,west,east . In physical map I used to like looking at the map of the rivers that flow in India. I would always attempt the “marking in the map” questions first in exam and always got all the markings correct.

My next introduction to a map came while in Middle School when I started reading books like the series of “Famous Five,Secret Seven, Hardy Boys,Nancy Drew, mysteries solved by Fatty and other Enid Blyton books. It used to be thrilling and there were times when I even developed  a secret desire to be like those guys studying maps and solving mysteries.

I have even had the desire to have a map in my hand, get some clues , crack the clues , follow a trail to find a hidden treasure , cave, or to be an Archeologist !!

We have relocated to many places during my childhood  and my father would draw and show us the layout of the house into which we would be moving into while in the new city , which I  would always find interesting!!

I am in general possessed with a good sense of bearings and new roads, routes interest me. Whenever I visit a new place I try to get hold of the map of the place to know more about the place.

I associate a map with something which is new, unknown to begin with and slowly as I start to get familiar with a place, surroundings, locality, routes there is this nice picture in my mind’s eye as the exact location starts becoming clear . It is something similar to the unfolding of something from ” Unknown  to Known” and it’s really satisfying in a way!

It’s the same with life too. Sometimes the future seems scary, some decisions in life are like a leap into the dark and when the future slowly unfolds – and we find the journey comfortable we thank God for leading us, guiding us correctly in this  so-called MAP OF LIFE.

One -Word Inspiration—UNCERTAINTY

This is in response to Day 3 , Writing 101:

“One -Word Inspiration— Regret, Home, Love, Uncertainty, Secret “

UNCERTAINTY

This term ” Uncertainty” is definitely a heavy word.

Hope and Uncertainty go hand in hand. It starts right from the time  a child is in the mother’s womb. A feeling of uncertainty creeps in the mother’s mind if there is any sort of problem during the gestation months and at the same time hope also makes it way -“that God willing all should be fine”

Once the bundle of joy is delivered some other uncertainties crop up especially if the mother is a working woman. The next question that surfaces is “whether to take a sabbatical, continue with job or become a full time mother?” Once that issue gets sorted the next one crops up when its time for the toddler to go to school. As is normally the case- the supply is more than the demand and everyone obviously aims for admission in the best school. there again comes a time of uncertainty till the school thing is sorted out.

This way in the journey of life at different stages of life, there does come a time when one is not sure about the future, a fear somewhere resides in some corner of the mind.Yet life goes on. One tries to do what one thinks is best at that point of time. And when ones wishes are fulfilled its a nice, beautiful feeling.

Sometimes it does happen that, what one may think is best for oneself , God does not think that way, as HE has a different plan chalked out and when that happens , its a tough time. Hoping against hope one has to tread the difficult, dark path waiting anxiously to see the light ahead in the tunnel of life.

I am always reminded about the time when we come to a fork point in life. Which path to choose be it career, studies, spouse, house, relationships, relocation to another city/ country , medical issues , etc  sometime tear us apart giving stress . One then follows what ones heart/head/or others say with the cloud of uncertainty hanging over the head, leading each day with a SECRET desire that all turns out well with no REGRETS of the decisions taken , and with the LOVE , support of  family at HOME, friends, associates, we TREASURE we take each day as it comes.

Whenever I have faced UNCERTAINTY in my life . I like to remember these lines that I came across once to give me comfort

The water falls from the hills,  it never thinks it has fallen, it rises to run as an Unstoppable river. Life is not about falling. It is about rising at every fall