Sunday, December 31, 2006
Here are some guaranteed methods to stay young.Just make these your resolutions this year--and I promise you, that if you sincerely follow them, you will definitely feel younger in December 2007.Try it----and tell me.
1. Try everything twice. On Madams tombstone (of Whelan's and Madam) she said she wanted this epitaph: Tried everything twice...loved it both times!
2. Keep only cheerful friends.
The grouches pull you down. (keep this in mind if you are one of those grouches;-)
3.Keep learning: Learn more about the computer, crafts, gardening, whatever. Never let the brain get idle. "An idle mind is the devil's workshop." And the devil's name is Alzheimer's!
4.Enjoy the simple things.
5.Laugh often, long and loud. Laugh until you gasp for breath. And if you have a friend who makes you laugh, spend lots and lots of time with HIM/HER.
6. The tears happen: Endure, grieve, and move on. The only person who is with us our entire life, is ourselves. LIVE while you are alive.
7. Surround yourself with what you love: Whether it's family, pets, keepsakes, music, plants, hobbies, whatever. Your home is your refuge.
8. Cherish your health: If it is good, preserve it. If it is unstable, improve it. If it is beyond what you can improve, get help.
9. Don't take guilt trips. Take a trip to the mall, even to the next county, to a foreign country, but NOT to where the guilt is.
10. Tell the people you love that you love them, at every opportunity.
11.Forgive now those who made you cry. You might not get a second time.
The above list is from a email forward that I got.Found it too good to not share!
Saturday, December 30, 2006
Have just got back from a fantabuluos (fantastic+ fabulous—no other word describes it) holiday and feeling so recharged because I enjoyed every moment of it. Was so excited that I clicked 199 pictures! Just uploaded them and was surprised myself!
We had driven down to a place called Aurangabad which is about 214 kilometres from where I stay. Aurangabad itself, is replete with history and the town is scattered with remnants of a bygone era—the old forts, the monuments all bear silent testimony to a royal era of the Moghals who ruled India between 1527 and 1690. Aurangazeb was the last Moghal emperor and the city is named after him. There is lots to see in Aurangabad itself.(I shall post pictures of this quaint place in the posts to come--There are so many!)
But the icing on the cake was the visit to Ajanta and Ellora caves which are a world Heritage site. They date back to 500-700 A.D. Can you believe it?!! They depict the story of Buddhism,Jainism and Hinduism spanning a period from 200 BC to 650 AD.The whole thing is a giant sculpture, into which you can walk, and such serenity and calm descends on you, when you walk in and you are transported back in time.You can almost see the Buddhist monks meditating, and you feel a bit like Henry in “The time traveller’s wife”!
The cave shrines were all cut out of rock, by hand, and rank amongst some of the most outstanding specimens of ancient Indian architectural heritage. The 34 caves at Ellora and the 29 caves at Ajanta, were remained shrouded in obscurity for over a millennium, till John Smith, a British Army Officer, accidentally stumbled upon them while on a hunting expedition in 1819. The view point from where John Smith first glimpsed the caves, provides a magnificent sight of the U-Shaped gorge and its scenic surroundings. It is estimated that the task of quarrying its 3,000,000 cubic feet of rock must have taken at least one hundred years. To quote a visitor "It is really a wonder to see so great a mass in the air, which seems so slenderly under dropped that one can hardly forbear to shudder upon first entering it."
We stayed at a great place too.(The meadows resort) See the link below.
Ajanta has been designated as a World Heritage Site, to be preserved as an artistic legacy that will come to inspire and enrich the lives of generations to come.
There are a few places in the world that one MUST DEFINITELY visit. Ajanata- Ellora is one of them.
Monday, December 25, 2006
Sunday, December 24, 2006
The kids school is having their christmas break.Yesterday, to keep them "creatively occupied" ( I am totally against kids watching T.V, or playing computer games endlessly--though I do let them once in a way) I handed my son the camera and told him to take five interesting pictures.
Of all that he clicked, I loved this one.
Reminded me of what my house must have looked like to the lizard that came in :-) (see my post 'The uninvited visitor')
Saturday, December 23, 2006
Isn’t it amazing that for the entire Human race there are ONLY FOUR blood groups?They are A,B,AB and O. According to the Rh-factor,antigens and antibodies, they are further classified into "positive" or "negative".
We may speak different languages, eat different food, wear different clothes, but what lies beneath is still the same. It is true of emotions too. We all feel sad, happy, frightened, jealous, angry, bored , indifferent—no matter which culture we are from.
I had written this poem in January 1992. It won the first place in a poetry writing contest at state level. At that time there was a lot of very ugly communal violence going on. There was a lot of bloodshed in the name of religion. I found it mindless--and still do. If we teach our children to be more tolerant, then I think there will be less violence in the future world. A simplistic solution? Perhaps—but I do think that the seeds we plant today will definitely bear fruit in the tomorrows to come.
Here is the poem.
A new Horizon
Commotion springs forth
People destroy each other
God is just another word
It is temples against mosques
The ruler is the sword.
Law dies; Violence is rampant
The ground overflows with chopped legs and severed hands
I ask, Can all the medical tests in the world,
Distinguish a Hindu’s blood from a Christian’s?
Suddenly the colours run riot
It could be morning or evening
I see a new horizon,but
Is the sun rising or setting?
Friday, December 22, 2006
Thursday, December 21, 2006
A big thank you to all those friends who called up today and also to all those who sent me messages wishing me, today (yep, it’s my birthday.) This is the first birthday of mine without my dad. Usually it is his call that I first get on my birthday. Today, my mom had to play his part. .My husband took an off from work to spend the day with me. I felt so touched by this gesture of his
I loved the gifts that I got from my family.(Of course, they are bound to know what I would love!) But the best gift is the presence of a happy family, all wrapped up in one another. I’m grateful for my family, grateful for my friends and I feel blessed and excited to be alive. Life has so much to offer, if we look at the positives.
What do birthdays mean?
What does it mean to grow older?
It means to grow wiser each day.
To appreciate more fully,
The joy life sends our way
To start each day with a happy heart
Believing that dreams come true
To overlook the storm clouds
Knowing skies will soon be blue
To find pleasure in simple things
A word, a smile, a thought.
To plan and dream but not forget
The joys that past has brought
To gather up a cherished wealth
Of friends and hold them dear
To learn from each experience
And grow in love each year.
(The above is from a very very old birthday card that I saved.I feel its so apt.)
Tuesday, December 19, 2006
“If you want to feel rich, just count the things you have that money can’t buy”
This was a quote which came in the newspaper yesterday, under the heading “prophet and loss”!! I loved it.
Coincidentally, a friend sent me a lovely e-mail forward, which matched the above quote. This is what it said.
The best moments in life are:
* To fall in love.
* To laugh until it hurts your stomach.
* To listen to your favorite song in the radio.
* To go to bed and to listen while it rains outside.
* To leave the shower and find that the towel is warm.
* To receive a call from someone, you don’ t see a lot, but you want to.
* To laugh at yourself looking at mirror, making faces.:)))
* Calls/chats at midnight that last for hours.:))
* To laugh without a reason.
* To accidentally hear somebody say something good about you.
* To wake up and realize it is still possible to sleep for a couple of hours.
* To hear a song that makes you remember a special person.
* To be part of a team.
* To watch the sunset/sunrise
* To make new friends.
* To feel butterflies in the stomach every time that you see that person. (I dont know when was the last time ANY of us felt that way!)
* To see people that you like, feeling happy.
* To use a sweater of the person that you like and find that it still smells of their perfume.
* See an old friend again and to feel that the things have not changed.
* To take an evening walk along the beach.
* To have somebody tell you that he/she loves you.
* To laugh .......laugh........and laugh ...... remembering stupid things done with stupid friends.
I find that coincidentally, all of the above, do not cost any money—but bring so much joy. Don’t you agree that money gives you only fleeting happiness, but happy memories last a lifetime?
Monday, December 18, 2006
It always fills me with wonder to think about this little sequence of events, which happens everyday. My friend SVK, in Suva, Fiji, sees the sunrise, first. A little later , another friend of mine, Vinoo, who is in Thailand sees the same sun. A few hours later, me and all my friends in India, see the sunrise. After a while, Niall, Tim and all the others in U.K, see it. A few more hours, and then, my friend in the U.S (specifically New York—You know who you are!) ,Sue in New Jersey, Katherine in Virginia, experience it. After some more time, my other friends in the U.S, on the West coast (specifically California) see the very same sun rise .By this time, my friend in Fiji, is looking at the moon and the stars!! This cycle repeats itself with unerring regularity, day-in, day-out. It has been like this for centuries and it will thus remain.(Until the world ends or the sky falls on our heads as they say in the Asterix books!! I don’t know how many of you read Asterix. I simply love Asterix, Obelix, Vitalstatistix ,the druid, the magic potion and all of them!)
This is such a simple, small thing, which is really nondescript, yet I find it amazing when I think that we are all looking at the same sun, same moon and same stars that existed for centuries before us and will continue to exist for centuries after us. Something nice to ponder about.
Saturday, December 16, 2006
In the end, we have only memories to take with us.Make happy memories today.It is only these that last a lifetime.
Here's a poem I wrote on 15th May, this year.This was before my Dad passed away.And I do feel he lived his life to the fullest,--and so strange, he lived upto what I wrote in the poem. He passed away so very peacefully.Such a death is something everyone aspires for, but very few actually get. Lucky him.
In the prison of life
Condemned to live
Until death comes calling
And finally decides to welcome you
All I ask
Is that when the time comes
Let go of the body,my soul
Let go gently
Don't cling so tightly
That you forget to live
Friday, December 15, 2006
I found this info about baby crocs interesting
When they are ready to hatch the baby crocodiles make a yapping sound from inside the eggs. This lets mum know her babies are ready to hatch so she digs them up and if they are having trouble getting out of their shells, she helps them by rolling the eggs inside her mouth and gently squeezing them until they hatch.
Mum may also carry her babies to water.
The baby crocodiles have to find insects to eat. Mum protects them for a month or two, but then they are completely on their own.
Memory is a wonderful thing, if you do not have to deal with the past (its a quote from 'Before sunset', a lovely movie)
Wrote this poem,to express my grief.
The final goodbye.
He is lying in front of me
As cold as the granite floor
They lay him down on.
This is not the dad I knew.
The dad I knew was full of life.
The dad I knew always spoke to me.
The dad I knew was always there for me.
The dad I knew never abandoned me.
The dad I knew was vibrant.
I try hard to forget
But it keeps cutting
Like shards of glass
Is now a dead body.
The internal tears
Refuse to stop flowing
Yet I smile
I burn inside,
And keep enduring.
Then, I console myself
“In me he lives”
Wednesday, December 13, 2006
Tuesday, December 12, 2006
“Making the decision to have a child –it’s momentous. It is to decide forever to have your heart go walking around outside your body.”
I think every parent would agree. There are moments when your child makes you feel so special, so cherished and so-on-top-of the-world. Today I was gifted with one such.
My son just turned nine, and likes to think that he is a “big boy” now. However, come sleep-time and he transforms into a little boy. He loves to cuddle up to me, after the story time (Even though he can read very well, he still listens when I read my daughter a story) My daughter then drifts off to sleep.Such times are usually reserved for mother-son chats.
Today, he was all wrapped around me, with his arm around my neck, and a leg across my stomach, his cheek next to mine, all cozy and warm in the quilt.
I asked him
“Son,why do you like to cuddle up to me?”
“Oh mama, you are so soft and smooth. You smell so nice. And mostly, because you are a mama bear.”
What can I say? It really made my day and I’m smiling a big happy smile, as I type this before going to bed.
Monday, December 11, 2006
We all have different personality traits. Some of them are learned, some are inherent. The traits that are learnt usually depend on the culture, environment, geographical location, and the parental attitude that one was brought up in. The traits which are inherent usually just emerge, despite social conditioning or lack of it, there of!
It is important to find out what makes you tick. You have to figure out what works for you. No matter what the others say, you are unique and no one understands you better than yourself.
There are usually 5 major personality factors which have been established by empirical research (Goldberg 1993) (Yes, I had to refer my social psychology notes for this one!! :-))
5. Openness to experience
What do these terms mean? What they mean can be explained in a few simple sentences which you can ask if they describe yourself. Once you answer them, you know the degree of that particular trait, that you have in your personality.
- I am the life of the party.
- I don't mind being the center of attention.
- I feel comfortable around people.
- I start conversations.
- I talk to a lot of different people at parties.
- I am quiet around strangers. (reversed)
- I don't like to draw attention to myself. (reversed)
- I don't talk a lot. (reversed)
- I have little to say. (reversed)
- I keep in the background. (reversed)
- I am interested in people.
- I feel others' emotions.
- I have a soft heart.
- I make people feel at ease.
- I sympathize with others' feelings.
- I take time out for others.
- I am not interested in other people's problems. (reversed)
- I am not really interested in others. (reversed)
- I feel little concern for others. (reversed)
- I insult people. (reversed)
- I am always prepared.
- I am exacting in my work.
- I follow a schedule.
- I get chores done right away.
- I like order.
- I pay attention to details.
- I leave my belongings around. (reversed)
- I make a mess of things. (reversed)
- I often forget to put things back in their proper place. (reversed)
- I am easily disturbed.
- I change my mood a lot.
- I get irritated easily.
- I get stressed out easily.
- I get upset easily.
- I have frequent mood swings.
- I often feel blue.
- I worry about things.
- I am relaxed most of the time. (reversed)
- I seldom feel blue. (reversed)
Openness to experience
- I am full of ideas.
- Iam quick to understand things.
- I have a rich vocabulary.
- I have a vivid imagination.
- I have excellent ideas.
- I spend time reflecting on things.
- I use difficult words.
- I am not interested in abstract ideas. (reversed)
- I do not have a good imagination. (reversed)
- I have difficulty understanding abstract ideas. (reversed)
Usually one or more of these traits are very dominant in you.Creative people have a high degree of nueroticism and openness. People high in Neuroticism are emotionally very reactive. They respond emotionally much more to events that wouldn’t usually affect most people.Their reactions would be very intense.Van Gogh whom I really admire,is a classic example of this.(well, he had Bi-polar disorder too—but that I shall leave for another day!)
Understanding yourself, helps you and goes a long way in understanding and accepting others.Not everybody sees things the way you do.Not everybody feels things the same way you feel.
Two people may look at the same siutation and react completely differently.The cliched example would be the optimist viewing the glass as half full while the pessimist seeing it as half empty.
The most important thing is once you understand yourself, or once you understand somebody, you just accept them as they are.Then you see a dramatic improvement in the way you relate to people.You are happier, and less affected or angry by another’s behaviour.They are they and you are you.
That what makes them tick and this is what makes you tick!!
Saturday, December 09, 2006
Friday, December 08, 2006
And hey--in case you are wondering--I did not make them up :-)
And like I always tell my friend (you know who you are!) I agree whole heartedly with the last quote!
"I believe that sex is one of the most beautiful, natural, wholesome things that money can buy."--Tom Clancy
"You know "that look" women get when they want sex? Me neither."--Steve Martin
"Having sex is like playing bridge. If you don't have a good partner, you'd better have a good hand."--Woody Allen
"Bisexuality immediately doubles your chances for a date on Saturday night."--Rodney Dangerfield
"There are a number of mechanical devices which increase sexual arousal, particularly in women. Chief among these is the Mercedes-Benz 380SL."--Lynn Lavner
"Leaving sex to the feminists is like letting your dog, vacation at the taxidermist."--Matt Barry
"Sex at age 90 is like trying to shoot pool with a rope."--George Burns
"Sex is one of the nine reasons for reincarnation. The other eight are unimportant."--George Burns
"Women might be able to fake orgasms. But men can fake whole relationships."--Sharon Stone
"My girlfriend always laughs during sex ---no matter what she's reading."--Steve Jobs (Founder, Apple Computers)
"My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch."--Jack Nicholson
" Clinton lied. A man might forget where he parks or where he lives, but he never forgets oral sex, no matter how bad it is."--Barbara Bush (Former US First Lady -- and you didn't think Barbara had a sense of humor)
"Ah, yes, divorce, from the Latin word meaning to rip out a man's genitals through his wallet."--Robin Williams
"Women complain about premenstrual syndrome, but I think of it as the only time of the month that I can be myself."--Roseanne
"Women need a reason to have sex. Men just need a place."--Billy Crystal
"According to a new survey, women say they feel more comfortable undressing in front of men than they do undressing in front of other women. They say that women are too judgmental, where, of course, men are just grateful."--Robert De Niro
"There's a new medical crisis. Doctors are reporting that many men are having allergic reactions to latex condoms. They say they cause severe swelling. So what's the problem?"--Dustin Hoffman
"There's very little advice in men's magazines, because men think, ‘I know what I'm doing. Just show me somebody naked.’"--Jerry Seinfeld
"Instead of getting married again, I'm going to find a woman I don't like and just give her a house."--Rod Stewart
"See, the problem is that God gives men a brain and a penis, and only enough blood to run one at a time."--Robin Williams
Thursday, December 07, 2006
Wednesday, December 06, 2006
Really sorry--I have had to remove this post as it will soon appear in a book. Making it available online would have been very unfair to my publisher who has placed so much trust in me. I hope you enjoy the other posts as much as you enjoyed this one. A heartfelt thanks for your support and understanding.Thanks for continuing to read what I write.
Sunday, December 03, 2006
I have my own collection of t-shirts that I find are “me”—whacky, humorous, or just appealing to me in some way.
These are all my favourite t-shirts that I often wear.
The red one says , “I don’t like to talk too much because Blah,blah blah,blah,blah ,blah blah,blah,blah ,blah, blah,blah,blah ,blah, blah, blah,blah,blah ,blah blah,blah,blah ,blah, blah,blah,blah,blah”
The others, you can see for yourself what they say!
Right now, I’m wearing the green one that says “Just friends” .I really laughed when I first spotted it in the store. The picture is a perfect answer to the age old question--Can a man and a woman be be ‘just friends’? Can a relationship between a man and a woman be just platonic? For centuries I think everyone has been debating this. “When Harry met Sally” remains one of the most popular movies on this theme.
What do you say?
A bit like life I suppose--You plan something and life takes its own turns.You change and you cope.
One thing that never changes is the joy a good book gives. The internet is fantastic--it connects across cultures, shrinks the miles,bridges gaps and expands horizons.But at times, servers are down, there is no power or you dont get what you are looking for. There are viruses that can get your system down and all kinds of other complications.
Books are so simple.You curl up witha good book, and it never lets you down.
I love the internet but i simply LOVE my books!
And looks like a lot of people agree with me.
Books are the carriers of civilization. Without books, history is silent, literature dumb, science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.
A room without books is like a body without a soul.
The greatest gift is a passion for reading. It is cheap, it consoles, it distracts, it excites, it gives you the knowledge of the world and experience of a wide kind. It is a moral illumination.
Just the knowledge that a good book is awaiting one at the end of a long day makes that day happier
Good friends, good books and a sleepy conscience: this is the ideal life.
Saturday, December 02, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
Is it possible to be in love with more than one? I’m in love and there are three of them! Which one shall I choose? They are all equally cute, charming and more than happy to see me! Who is right for me?
Yes, you guessed it—I am talking about these pups. In the complex where I stay there is a dog by the name of “Rani”.Rani belongs to nobody in particular and has no pedigree to boast of . All of us feed her and she visits all of us in turns! She gave birth to six adorable puppies last month. Every day, the kids have been talking about them. Yesterday, I went to see them and I am totally in love with them. Three of the pups, have already been adopted and there are only three more left. I do so badly want to bring a pup home. My kids and I, have been using all our charm to convince my husband. (He is not too fond of dogs, and even if we get one, he says it has to be a pure bred, not a stray) I tried telling my husband that, to a dog, it makes no difference if he is a pure bred or a stray!
Using all my powers of persuasion I’ve finally convinced him to just come and have a look at the puppies and he says he will, but I think he just said it so that I’d keep quiet and let him have his peace!! I’m hoping that they charm him, as much as they charmed me. Will keep you posted if I succeed. (But why do I just get this feeling that it is a lost cause, even before I’ve started?)
Just look at these pups. How can anyone not find them cute?!!
Wednesday, November 29, 2006
Words have the power to hurt and words have the power to heal. I have a poster on my cupboard that says. “Words have a life of their own. Think, before you speak”.Wasn’t it Boyzone who sang
“smile ,an ever lasting smile
a smile can bring you near to me,
don't ever let me find you gone,
'cause that would bring a tear to me.
This world has lost its glory,
let's start a brand new story
now my love
you think that I don't even mean
a single word I say
it's only words
and words are all I have
to take your heart away”
There is this really beautiful poem about words which I have read to my children so many times that they can recite it without looking. We also used it in a couple of workshops and almost all the kids loved enacting it. Thought I’d share this brilliant poem with you so that you can share it with your children if you like to.
The word party. By Richard Edwards
Loving words clutch crimson roses,
Rude words sniff and pick their noses,
Shy words come dressed up as foxes,
Short words stand on cardboard boxes,
Common words tell jokes and gabble,
Complicated words play scrabble,
Swear words stamp around and shout,
Hard words stare each other out,
Foreign words look lost and shrug,
Careless words trip on the rug,
Long words slouch with stooping shoulders,
Code words carry secret folders,
Silly words flick rubber bands,
Hyphenated words hold hands,
Strong words show off, bending metal
Sweet words call each other petal,
Small words yawn and suck their thumbs,
Till at last the morning comes.
Kind words give out farewell posies…
Snap! The dictionary closes.
At this point, I close the poetry book with a “snap” .My kids never tire of it! And each time I have to open the book and read the poem again, and they will give examples of different kinds of word described, like long words, foreign words etc. When they come to swear words, they will giggle and say “Mummy, we know it but we are not supposed to say it”!
And like reading the poem a hundred times never tires them, this little ritual of theirs never fails to amuse me!