Saturday, October 29, 2011

When the crows get thirsty ...

The story “Thirsty Crow” gets a newer version.

When one crow gets thirsty, he flies around and finds a rivulet.

He then calls all his friends. And they have a great time together.

Moral of the story … A treat with friends makes everyone’s day.

Every morning, we witness this joyous get-together. Right behind our house.

Their flight, their play gives a refreshing start to the day.

Love, happiness, peace of mind.

Sharing with you all.

Have a great day. Good morning.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Afterthoughts on Diwali …

My facebook friends have been posting this picture religiously every year. And this shows how beautiful, how mesmerising India looks from space on Diwali night.

How a no moon night comes alive with candles, diyas, lamps and lights.

Well, all I want to do is to express my thanks to all those who posted this.

If this is a satellite picture, I am glad we have the satellites and the technology that can provide us with such details.

If this is a growth progression from 90’s to 2000’s, I am glad we have progressed so.

If this is an artist’s imagination, I am glad he could paint what India should look like on a Diwali night.

Because all said and done, amidst all the fireworks and firecrackers, the beauty was a little fogged.

Yes, the houses were embellished. Complete with the lights, laughter and merry making of everybody.

The first round of fireworks in the alley blew all the candles out. The second round nearly deafened us. And the third round brought with it a bout of smoke and ash and all the oxides of carbon.

The sound of the crackers was the only decipherable sound. The play of crackers, the only visible celebration.

Thick blanket of smoke engulfed the surroundings. It was darkness all around. The only saving grace was the glow of the crackers. Defying all smoke. Defying all haze. But every single cracker that burnt added to the layer of smoke and gases.

Stepping outside was a real challenge. It was literally poison in the air. So difficult to breathe. The eyes watered. The throat burned with every breath. The sick, the infants, the elderly and those with respiratory troubles received the gift of "discomfort". Most retreated back to their rooms and drawing rooms.

Every year, several thousand of fireworks and firecrackers are lit. Treat for eyes, hole in pocket and threat to life.

Every year, several campaigns are launched; to have a smoke free Diwali; to curtail pollution; to protest against the fireworks industries where kids are employed.

And, yet! Every year, the fireworks flood the market, the homes and the sky.

The fireworks are integral to this festivity. Their splendour and sparkle is unmatched. But so is the society that we live in.

While we clean our houses, make rangolis and decorate every corner we can think of, we subject our earth India and sky India to the dark mines of pollution, suffering and pain.

Is this what we call a “Happy Diwali”?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Thank you God

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”

For this body of clay,

For a mind full of play,

For every iota that we learn,

For every Star and Saturn,

For every moment of life,

For every peace and every strife,

For all our strains and songs,

For our rights and wrongs,

For our joys and sorrows,

For our today and tomorrows,

For all that we have and all that we desire,

For everything that shines or lies bemire,

For all that you send our way,

For each and every blessed day,

Thank you God …

Thank you God … for the gift of this life.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Fighting the cold ...

I have been busy.

Busy, fighting the sore throat and dry cold.

Using granny’s strategic home remedies.

I wear sweaters while people around me still wear summer clothes.

I drink lukewarm water while friends sip cold drinks.

I suck ginger and honey when the whole family is relishing salty snacks.

I get milk with ginger, cinnamon and cloves and Harji gets bournvita and horlicks.

I get dushanda (joshanda / banashka) and dad gets cold coffee.

It is lozenges for me while candies and chocolates for all my cousins.

I get sheera and besan and they all eat chilly cheese.

My room has that unmistakable odour of “vicks”.

And my right to speech has been well curtailed this week.

Enough to drive me up the wall.

But the home remedies are helping. Am on my way to recovery.

Just a few more days of precaution. A few more days of fighting.

Kudos to grannies. Sometimes, they know it all.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Date with moon ...

Festivity is in the air.

More so for all the married and engaged damsels.

Their fast will speak volumes about their undying love for husbands.

Their 16 shringaar (16 adornments) will put the heavenly nymphs to shame.

Faith makes all things possible and love makes all things easy.

This is one festival, the history of which is glorious and the present, beautiful.

The women, dressed up in fineries, gather together to say their prayers. They listen to the Karwa Chauth Katha, exchange Karwas, and chant the prayers. Followed by exciting wait for the moon to rise. … when the wives and fianc├ęs will seek blessings for the welfare, well being and prosperity of their spouse.

My reasons of celebration have nothing to do with fasting, though.

New stock of bangles, kangans and bracelets means a new, ethnic and traditional piece can be added easily to my collection.

One can easily get “feniyan” (shaped like vermicelli, made in clarified butter) as they are an important part of the rituals of this festival. And they make for a delicious and sumptuous breakfast. So, I can hoard up enough “feniyan” to last me through next year.

And I love the general ambience ... the gorgeous smiles, the festivity, the traditions, the shopping, the gifting.

Well, to each his own, they say. J

May your date with moon, bring lots of love and happiness in your life.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

When nothing goes right, go shopping!!!

This is one of those few days, when we were not feeling particularly buoyant.

We cook. We clean. We eat. We sleep. We iron. We knit. We talk. We stitch. We mend. We play. God! The tasks don’t end. Ever.

The day ends in a jiffy. With so many things still piled up before us.

To add to it, Diwali and a wedding in the house. The rounds to tailors, gift shops, and jewellery shops too have to be squeezed in somehow.

So, almost daily, I and my mum have been going to the market for one thing or the other. And things are moving at snail’s pace.

Mum was panicky today. “How are we going to manage so many things?” And the mood had spilled over to me also.

We finally decided to go shopping again. And we were praying it to be fruitful this time. The agenda was to get some nice outfits for my nephews. Diwali gifts.

So, off we were again. One shop, then other. Rejecting this and that. Shortlisting things. Yes .. no .. no. On and on.

As I passed by a shop, I spotted a green T-shirt on a mannequin and remarked casually “Nice”.

We went to kids store nearby, saw a few things. But nothing appealed. And on our way back, my head turned again and I said “Mum, look, isn’t it nice”.

One minute, we were looking at the t-shirt. The second minute, we were looking at one another. And the third minute, we were in that shop.

Nice cotton t-shirts. Pleasing colours. Ended up buying two. That mannequin piece did make its way to my shopping bag.

That was the beginning.

After that, we bought nice outfits for both my nephews and did some more shopping that was not in today’s to do list.

And where’s the fun in shopping without grabbing a steal.

We walked back home holding 4-5 big shopping bags.

So, mission accomplished. With million watt smiles.

Mum seems a little relaxed for the first time since morning. I am on cloud nine.

Moral of the story … when you feel a little low, grab your wallet and go shopping.

Trust me, it works wonders.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya

Dasha – hara.

The victory of good over evil. Every time, all the times.

The triumph of all that is true, good and right.

The end of the darkness , in every sense of the word.

The removal of Kumati (bad intentions and fate).

The slaying of lust, anger, delusion, greed, over pride, jealousy, ego, desire.

The worshipping of mind, intellect, knowledge.

The seeking of Sumati (pure mindedness).

The heralding of light.

The beginning of pious and pure.

So this dussehra , let us all pray

“Om asato ma sadgamaya,

Tamaso ma jyotirgamaya,

Mrityorma amritamgamaya

Om shantih shantih shantih

Oh Almighty!

Lead us from the unreal (falsity) to the real (truth)!

From darkness to light!

From death to immortality!

Oh Almighty! May there be Peace! Peace! Peace!”

And may our prayers be answered with peace, strength, self - discipline, respect, simplicity, success, prosperity, values and health to all of us.


Saturday, October 1, 2011

It is that time of the year….

When the days turn to dusks sooner than expected; One minute, it is light everywhere and the other minute, it starts getting dark.

When the mornings are cold and it feels good to snuggle up in a jaipuri quilt or a blanket;

When you open the window and sudden rush of cool morning breeze can give you goose bumps.

When the mild fogs, on the very top of the hills, right before the first sun rays filter through them, looks mesmerising.

When the days pass in a quandary; the question being - “To switch on a fan or not to”?

When the walnuts have made their way back into the daily routines;

When the hands knitting cosies for all of us, start working faster;

When people start arranging and re-arranging sweaters, knitwear, woollen accessories;

When the rooftops are adorned in beautiful woollen hues;

When you try wearing this and that, and finally decide to go out in a full sleeves top;

When if you don’t pay heed to minor symptoms, you can end up with a most irritating cold;

When you should not have cold water, so you mix together the cold and the fresh water;

When the refrigerator does not have to carry the load of ice trays and so many water bottles, and blesses you with additional space to stack in guavas, apples, pomegranates;

When you know winters are just round the corner.

Wishing you all winters full of care and warmth. J