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

The Space to write

In response to Day 6 on  Writing 101;

Today, describe the space where you write. Or, if you don’t have a dedicated place, what is your ideal setting? Consider these questions to shape your post:

  • What are your writing habits?
  • What equipment or supplies do you use to write?
  • What do you need and want in a physical space?

The Space to write

On some days I get this sudden urge to key in my thoughts. And the words, sentences, ideas would  slowly start brewing in my mind waiting to become a beverage.
On such days the first casualty is cooking.
I am a person who is not fond of cooking  on a daily basis  or doing other kitchen/cleaning chores as I find them boring and a thankless job. Although my house is well maintained , neat , tidy, maybe not sparkling as that is not my priority.

On such days when I feel like donning my writing hat and I feel a spark in me , I would be engrossed in a world of my own waiting to pour my thoughts. And as soon  as I would get a chance  I  would directly start keying in on the system that is in form of a desktop
& do not like to be interrupted as I enjoy the experience – a nice feeling as my thoughts get churned and take the form of meaningful  sentences . I would be so immersed in my thoughts that I would not notice how time flies!!
I may not be very great in writing compared to many others, but I enjoy every moment as I keep with the flow and express it in words. ( something similar I am experiencing now too).  The final taste of my freshly prepared beverage would be something which I most certainly like to savor for some hours!

This is the reason why writing a blog came to my mind , and I wanted to give it a try and tap my this potential.images8XZUADI8imagesIZ1X2UEN

Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader-

not the fact that it is raining,

but the feeling of being rained upon — E. L. DOCTOROW

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

Write a List– Things I Like

This is in response to Day 2 -Writing 101

Write your own list on one of these topics: Things I like, Things I ‘ve learned, Things I wish
Things I like
  1.  I believe in health is wealth , so like to keep myself fit by doing yoga.
  2. I like to believe that God has been very kind to bestow me whatever I have today , and would like to thank Him
  3. I like to be in the company of people who love me,like me, understand me, guide me .
  4. I like to watch the sunrise if possible , as normally I am a late riser.
  5. I like nature and its a nice feeling to be amidst nature.
  6. I like to hear the chirping of birds early in the morning.
  7. I like the sound of temple bells, church bells.
  8. I like spring and summer compared to winter.
  9. I like spending my time fruitfully.
  10. I like shopping, home decor, ethnic things attract me.
  11. I like freedom, as I believe that doing what I like is freedom , and liking what I do will give me happiness.
  12. I also like spending time alone . I value my ME TIME very very much.
  13. I like listening to good music, read a good book, pamper myself.
  14. I like teaching , but I do not like doing corrections of papers.
  15. I like doing creative things, it gives me satisfaction.
  16. I like analytical, logical, spatial thinking problems.
  17. I like writing, thats the reason why i enrolled myself here!
  18. I like it when my son or husband share their days activities, tell about their friends, dreams etc.
  19. I like people who are simple, not show offs, have no pretence and are not unpredictable.
  20. I like terracotta, bronze, brass , jute items.
  21. I like to solve puzzles, sudokus, crosswords
  22. I like to learn about alternative methods of healing, temple architecture, anything creative.
  23. I like it when people do not take me or others for granted.
  24. I like it when my son joins me in my walks, outings.
  25. I like  to be in a peaceful state of mind without tensions.
  26. I like to be appreciated by people who mean to me.
  27. I like making friends whose wavelength matches mine.

I write because

This is in response to Day 1- Writing 101, – I write because

I write because

Writing is a wonderful art!

I sometimes have this desire to pen down my thoughts,feelings, expressions. I then feel very motivated to give my thoughts a flow and feel like undertaking this beautiful journey which allows me to unleash a part of my creativity .I am just a novice in this field and have miles and miles to go.

Writing is a way to express ones ideas, joy,sadness, emotions, hopes,desires etc and it always has felt good to look back and read them again and again because it is something which has come straight from ones heart, its ones very own creation and the writer is the best person who can understand, visualize and enjoy it the most is what I strongly believe in!