Friday, January 1, 2016

Today is the first of January 2016

The Earth completed a revolution around the Sun. We earthlings took stock of the twelve months past and paused. Then shouted Happy New Year.

I say to myself, its time to count my blessings

1. I take the important decisions in my life and and all the random decisions in my daily life. I am independent, able to do what I think is right . For that I am thankful.

2. I have people that love me, care about me, worry about me, that call me when I'm travelling, when I've reached my destination, when I'm sick, when its New Year :-) I have people to call when I'm feeling low, when I'm feeling high, when I'm angry. I have those who don't dislike me when I don't speak to them just because . For them I'm thankful.

3. I have in my life people who will never make it to 9PM prime time news, but possess souls that enrich my life and enrich this world. For them I'm thankful.

4. I have a happy child who is happy to be happy, who devours books, who asks countless questions, who fills me with joy just by being herself. For her I'm most grateful.

5. I have a body that I can put through an hour of gym, an hour of zumba and doesn't let me down. although it creaks in newer places each day :-) for my body I'm grateful.

6. I have that someone who stirred feelings in me so strong years back and continues to be my stronghold. A used t-shirt, a carelessly discarded tie can still make me pause and want to breathe in a lungful of that familiar scent. For him I'm grateful.

7. I live in a land that has never known violence , never been touched by terrorism, never been bombed nor held at ransom. For that I'm grateful.

8. I carry within me the spirits of my ancestors, people who walked before me and handed me DNA that compels me to respect the paranormal, respect that which I cannot sense with my limited human senses, that propels me to touch my forehead to the ground everyday in complete and utter surrender to Nature that sustains life. For the spirits and their guidance I'm grateful.

As I lay me down to sleep on this first night of 2016
As the Earth goes on another journey in a familiar path
As I prepare for Life ahead
I am grateful
I am grateful
I am grateful.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

In the beginning there was a shopping list

It said butter, biscuits and atta.

Aisle 1 : hey , Vanilla flavoured Coco crisps , baked not fried. Its healthy. so ..

Aisle 2 : Canola Oil on sale ! 2 bottles for only Rs. 399. That's a whole Rs. 65  discount ! so...

Aisle 3 : aw.. such a cute wrapper. Jam biscuits..yum. the wrapper is inviting. so.....

Aisle 4 : VLCC diamond scrub. with Diamond bhasma. No kidding. Diamonds . so.....

Aisle 5 : Oh Amul Garlic Butter is back ! Hurray ! I'll take 2. Make that 4
                              what if it disappears like last time ? so..

Aisle 6 : Coconut Vanilla Milkshake powder. Quaint .so...

Aisle 7 : New brand of Bread. Only wheat. Purity guaranteed. so ..........

At the end, a bill of Rs. 2618 , three big bags and

Total bafflement. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Topic at Thursday Book Club meeting on 27th Mar 2014 was to write on an incident in my life from the viewpoint of my grandmother. I wrote this . Part fiction, part real, fully borrowed from someone else's life

My throat is parched from all that shouting. My heart is beating in my ears. Thank God my eyes were dry back there. Thank God she didn't see me weak. Although what I really wanted to do was pull my hair, beat my chest and knock some sense into her head.

Oh when, when did my little girl grow up so ? My little Latha, handed over to me to nurture by her tired mother. Allergic, asthmatic and so adorable ! She kept me awake for nights on end while her mother, my daughter, obliviously slept by her side. Could it be her mother's indifference that turned her this way ? Couldn't be. I was a devoted mother, yet my own daughter grew up to be an indifferent parent !

Latha was always different from other kids. I should know, I have ten grandchildren but none as precocious. We shared a special bond, one that came out of a shared love of books, of pappadams, a love that also came of trying to decipher the riddle that was my daughter, her mother.

Perhaps it was natural she should have turned out this way

The first to bring a dog to the house

The first to wear lipstick in the neighbourhood

The first in the city to opt out of Science despite high grades and choose arts

Now the first girl in the family to go abroad to study, to WANT to go abroad to study.

She says she'll be back in five years, but she'll be thirty then. She says she'll treat her body like a temple all the while she is abroad, but what does she know of the smooth talking  scoundrels out there ?  She throws my story back at me, reminding me of how I dared to question the Kaaranavar and demanded to be sent to school !

Why oh why couldn't she be like Jaya and Sudha who married and became mothers dutifully without causing a stir ? Why should Latha, my dearest one, be the one to try me so ?

Oh, there go the cows ! Its time for their feed. They, at least, are predictable .

I'll feed them first.

Then think about how to talk this one out of her misbegotten idea.

Thursday, March 28, 2013

at a kiddie birthday party

a little one with a quivering lower lip "aunty, i'm looking bad ?"

" no, baby. why do you ask ?"

" she told me i'm looking bad " ....... points at this little girl all dressed up in a pretty dress, with prettily made up hair with pretty clips

the same 'pretty' girl had reduced aditi to tears last week by calling her  'fat '

they are both 5 years old !!  

its not just one kid or two, its a malaise

many children i see around me are not kids

they are mini adults

mini judgmental adults

Thursday, January 31, 2013

out of the mouths of babes

aditi and i are watching Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1. a few minutes into the film i realise its unfit for her consumption. so i'm relieved when the phone rings, as it usually does at 2PM with amma at the other end and ask aditi  to get it. she reluctantly leaves and asks  me to pause the movie. i refuse, of course .

aditi picks up the phone and says this " the number  you have called is being called by another number now. please call later"

amma, shocked, says "aditi"

and aditi goes " peeee, peeee, peeee"

and quietly hangs up

out of the mouths of babes

the Tripathis - Shashank, Gauri, Tarini and Isha - move in next door to 502. they are great people. warm, fun and very ( oh so very) accomplished. Gauri is a Kathak dancer of international repute. the first ever dancer to perform in the westminster abbey. she's also a beautiful woman and a warm person.

gauri and aditi  take to each other instantly. gauri says about aditi " she's ME when i was her age"

aditi calls gauri  by her name - no aunty shaunty business. their love is too deep and beyond conventional relationship definitions.

gauri lends aditi  her silver, glittering nail polish. aditi looks as if she has been given a slice of heaven. she's so pleased with her new look, sparkling, silvery toes that she shows them off to everyone.

rema patti also gets to see the silver toed gushing girl .

now, rema patti had been aditi's sole companion on the fifth floor until gauri came along. they had a terrific equation as well. but that equation seemed to have taken a back seat when new equations were formed.

rema patti tells aditi  " i cannot give you bottles of glittering nail polish. i can only give you lots and lots of love"  

to which aditi says " that is okay. Love is more important than nail polish'

at which a visibly touched rema patti sits down next to aditi and hugs her tightly.

i watch on. without disturbing .

out of the mouths of babes

Diwali 2012 in Haripriya, Ernakulam

aditi's passion is amar chithra katha. she's always to be seen reading one. 

at lunch she says " i want to offer my mother my love and devotion"

straight out of an ACK. 

there is a round of muffled laughter at the table.

mummy chuckles and touches her heart with her palm as if to say " listen to her !"

aditi looks at mummy and enquires " heart attack ?" 

this time the laughter is loud