Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Words



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!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Little things that make you feel good




We went out to this lovely restaurant yesterday with three people from the UK, whom we were meeting for the first time.The moment we stepped in, there was this big,circular shallow vessel filled with water,and very pretty flowers floating in it.It was so beautiful that I couldn't resist taking a picture.What you see is an aerial view of it.

Little things like these make me feel instantly good. Am listing here little things that make me feel good.
1.A hot cup of coffee as soon as I wake up.
2.A spontaneous hug from one of my kids
3.Waking up early and discovering that its a saturday/sunday and so I can read the whole newspaper at one stretch!
4.Hearing from a good friend.
5.Remembering crazy incidents that make me laugh.
6.Exchanging text messages with friends which are laced with a tongue-in-cheek humour
7.Writing a poem
8.Seeing a rainbow
9.Finding a newly blosomed flower in my garden
10.Chirpings of birds in the mornings and in the evening when they return to their nests.

What makes you feel good? You have to list at least five. You are tagged! Write in!Would love to know.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Its not about the bike!

I don’t know how many of you have read the book “It’s not about the bike” by Lance Armstrong. It is an inspiring true life account of Human spirit and determination.

I’ve always loved any kind of outdoor sport, and cycling is no exception. There is something joyous about struggling hard to pedal uphill, on a cycle, using every muscle in your leg that you never knew existed , reaching the top, drenched in the sweat of your efforts, and after you have reached the peak, flying downhill at break neck speed , with wind in your hair ,a smile on your lips and a song in your heart.

It’s my son’s ninth birthday today and he didn’t want a party—He just wanted a Firefox. For the uninitiated, am not talking about the internet browser firefox, but the bikes! After I went and looked at the bikes, I fell in love with them and we finally settled for a Firefox Viper.(That’s the picture and the bike was brought into the bedroom for the photo op!For a better picture click on http://firefoxbikes.com/viper.htm ) It is a lovely bike and I agreed to buy it for him only if he agreed that it was his AND my bike! ( Poor kid! What choice did he have? He wanted it so badly)
And since the Firefox station is closed on Sundays, we bought it for him on Saturday evening itself even though his birthday is today. Ever since then, my son and I have been riding it in turns! It has got 6 gears on the right side and three on the left. It is a superb all-terrain bike and it is perfect for the place we live in, as we live on a hill and there are a lot of slopes. The model we bought is a lovely one and since my son is tall for his age, he handles it with ease, even though it is a 26” bike with steel and alloy frame and disc brakes as well.

Oh –to say it is a joy to ride, is an understatement. And now I share a passion with my son. Both of us gaze in admiration at it, and compare notes about which slopes are ‘cool’, which ones can be done without getting off the bike and pushing it (some of them are really steep) and which gear is the best to do a “wheelie” and of course who is a better rider!

Like I said, it’s not about the bike!

Friday, November 24, 2006

Blogging, Friends and the house of 1000 mirrors.

Blogging is so addictive!

I’m sure most bloggers would agree with me that blogging is addictive. And unlike other addictions this one actually helps you.
To me, it is like a window to the outside world. It is also an interactive platform. I like reading different blogs –You get different perspectives and a glimpse into the lives of others. You meet so many people and you realize that, at times, you have so much in common with someone from a completely different culture and country. You discover so much. You learn so much.

It is also such a nice way to let your friends know what is happening in your life, without flooding them with mails. Once they have the link to your blog, they choose whether to read or not to, unlike a mail where they are ‘forced’ to.

More than anything, your blog is an expression of what you think and feel. Yours to do as you please. You are in complete control, unlike life, which takes its own twists and turns.

Have a great weekend. I, for one, am looking forward to this week-end because I’m meeting up with a very dear friend, who lives in another city, but is here tomorrow during the day. In the evening, another person, whom I never met, but instantly connected with, is coming over, and we are all going out for dinner. To me, my good friends are very important and I always go that extra step to keep in touch with those who really matter. Like the famous song goes “I get by with a little help from my friends…”

Here is a small story that I liked and which is really true when you think about it.

Long ago in a small, far away village, there was a place known as the House of 1000 Mirrors. A small, happy little dog learned of this place and decided to visit. When he arrived, he bounced happily up the stairs to the doorway of the house. He looked through the doorway with his ears lifted high and his tail wagging as fast as it could.
To his great surprise, he found himself staring at 1000 other happy little dogs with their tails wagging just as fast as his. He smiled a great smile, and was answered with 1000 great smiles just as warm and friendly. As he left the House, he thought to himself, "This is a wonderful place, I will come back and visit often."
In this same village, another little dog, who was not quite as happy as the first one, decided to visit the house. He slowly climbed the stairs and hung his head low as he looked into the door. When he saw the 1000 unfriendly looking dogs staring back at him, he growled at them and was horrified to see 1000 little dogs growling back at him.
As he left, he thought to himself, "That is a horrible place, and I will never go back there again."
All the faces in the world are mirrors. What kind of reflections do you see in the faces of the people you meet?



Thursday, November 23, 2006

A matter of perspective




Last night, I lay in my hammock staring at the star studded sky, lost in thoughts. My 5 year old daughter was lying on top of me with her arm around my neck. She loves to do that and never misses an opportunity to lie with me in the hammock. Both of us lay there in silence, looking at the night, engrossed in thinking, dreaming, ruminating, and pondering.

Suddenly she breaks the silence
“Mummy?”
“hmmm”
“Can I ask you something?”
“Hmm-hmm”
“Are you scared of tarantulas?”
“No. I am not scared of tarantulas”
"How lucky you are mummy. Does that mean grown ups are not scared of tarantulas?”
“Well, I don’t know about others but I am not scared because tarantulas live only in rainforests and I don’t see how a Tarantula can creep up here into our house”

It took my daughter a minute to think about what I said. Then she asks
“What ARE you scared of mummy?”

Well, that really set me thinking. What am I scared of?
“I’m scared of what will happen to you and your brother when you grow up. Will you turn out all right? Am I doing the right thing? Am I doing a good job of parenting? Am I disciplining enough? Am I loving too much? Will you do well in life? Will I be there for you?”
Those are the thoughts that came to my mind and wanted to say, but of course I didn’t say them.
Instead I simply said “Oh. I am not scared of anything”
“Not even snakes mama?”
“Not even snakes, darling”
“Wow! You are super Mummy. You are the best mummy in the whole world”

And she gave me a big hug and a kiss. The happy-warm feeling for both of us remained for very long and still makes me smile when I think of it.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Drifting away

Have always been fond of poetry.Poetry is so beautiful to express emotions.It can be interpreted any way you like.There is beauty in precision.Sometimes a single poem can express what pages of prose cannot.

Here's one I wrote recently.





Drifting away



I watch helplessly
As we drift farther apart.
I want to call out
But this time, words won’t suffice.
The rope has already been cut
And the tide is too strong.

I watch helplessly
As each wave, carries us farther apart.
I want to call out
But this time, a wish won’t suffice.
The ties have already been broken
And the distance is too long.

I watch helplessly
And I silently endure the pain
Of drifting away.
© Ps

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

So much beauty


There is so much of beauty all around us. We just have to open our minds and hearts, to see it.
My parents belong to a beautiful place called Kerala. (To check out the official web site click go to http://keralatourism.org ) I am fortunate to have such wonderful memories of my childhood associated with this place. As kids, every summer, when we had our school vacation we would spend 2 months in this beautiful place with my grandparents (on my mom’s side) and Uncle (on my dad’s side). Both Dad and Mom come from two small villages in interior Kerala and both places are really beautiful. They are so pristine, so scenic, so green, so tranquil, but above all, untouched by time. When I go back to these places as an adult, it is almost as if time has stood still.

My dad’s place has this lovely river which is actually a congruence of three rivers. I learnt to swim in this river along with my cousins. The tide is very strong and one has to really know how to swim with the tide and against it. It is a lot of fun and swimming in a pool doesn’t even match up to one tenth of the joy that swimming in a river or the sea gives you. In this place, most kids learn to swim before they learn to walk! And for them, it’s a way of life. Last summer I went back to this river with my kids and my dad taught them how to swim too. It was so satisfying, because my kids got to experience the simple joys of life, which kids of the present generation seem to have lost touch with. One of the saddest moments of my life was when my brother and I had to immerse my dad’s ashes in this very river. We decided to choose this river because it is a place he loved and somehow, it seemed befitting to say the final good bye here. I was too distraught and too shattered to take any pictures at that time, else I would have loved to show you how beautiful the place is. There are tears in my eyes as I type this, but I know with time, the pain will lessen.

Almost the whole of Kerala is so beautiful. And I do not mean the usual tourist destinations. What I am talking about are the unheard of villages, in the deeper parts of the state. My parents settled down in a place called Eruveli, which is surrounded by rubber plantations and paddy fields.(the accompanying snap was clicked there when I last visited them. That is my mom and my daughter in the picture) They had moved there four years ago. I love that place and I must have visited them at least 8 times up to now. There are coconut trees, mango trees & jack fruit trees in every house. Most of the houses are small with exposed red stones & red tiles. But they all have large compounds. Nobody here speaks English. Life is very laid back--no traffic, no pollution, just bliss!! My parents’ place has the most delightful garden. Lots of different varieties of birds come to the garden—it is lovely to watch them. Early in the morning a flock of pigeons come & ask to be fed! There is a small bird bath in the garden, and humming-birds, robins, parrots, mynahs-they all come. The Garden itself is really beautiful--lots of pretty flowers, all lovingly tended by my mom. She is an avid gardener and is really blessed with a green thumb.

Like I said, there is beauty all around. I feel lucky that I am able to see it and appreciate it.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hammock calling


It is a lazy Sunday morning with Husband and kids at home. Feel like just lying in my hammock (yes,that is my hammock in the picture you see.I love looking at those hills) and watching the world go by. But there is so much to do. There is the book sale that I want to go to. There is my book shelf which is overflowing with books, which I have been meaning to rearrange. The kids studies have to be supervised.(Monday morning blues are already setting in).As usual, any homework that has to be turned in has a magical way of reappearing only when there are 3 minutes left to board the school bus! Today I plan to pre-empt that. School books shall be thoroughly checked, and a third degree interrogation shall be carried out to extract any information about verbally told assignments!(Usually these are the ones that are conveniently forgotten!)I am in a super-mummy mode today.

But sadly that means sacrificing what I want to really do. Like catching up with a dear friend through chat. Like the luxury of a long bath. Like going for that pedicure. Like writing that poem which is waiting to get out of my head. Like having some time to myself, to write, without constant cries of “mummy-Mummy-MUMMY”

How is it that kids do not pester their fathers? How do fathers get all the time in the world? Why are dads never interrupted when they read their newspaper? How come dads get to watch their NBA and ESPN and a million other things on T.V without once getting disturbed by the kids? Or does this happen only to me?

I can hear my hammock calling me, but it will have to wait.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Happy birthday Dad

Today is my dad's birthday.He would have been 66 had he lived.My dad passed away on 7th September 2006.

http://www.thedadmovie.com/

Happy birthday dad.I love you and miss you.

Friday, November 17, 2006

I love this guy!

He came unannounced, uninvited
Like he owned the place
And everyone around.
He took what he wanted
And left

When he had his fill .
He is elusive and charming
Clever and quick .
Oh! How I love this guy!
I wait for him
And when I see him
I am going to ask him
To give me my heart back.
© Ps
_________
This little squirrel fearlessly helped himself from my husband's plate.I loved it!
I showed the poem that I wrote to my son (he turns 9 in 10 days) and he is convinced that i wrote about him!:-)
Ah,well,what can I say? I wrote about the squirrel.Really!! :-)













Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Why did you leave?



Feeling a bit sad this evening. Wrote this poem a little while ago just to express what I feel.
_________________________________________________________

Why did you leave?

The last song is yet to be sung,
The last bell is yet to be rung.
The last book is yet to be read,
The last word is yet to be said.

The last bow is yet to be taken.
The last Martini is yet to be shaken.
The last note is yet to be played,
The last etching is yet to fade.

Why then did you leave?
Why did you choose to walk away?
Leaving me to waltz the last dance
And face the music alone. Couldn’t you stay?

© Ps

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Money

Too much of it and we lose perspective..Too little and we still lose perspective!! How much money is really enough? Who decides what is "enough"?

Wouldnt you love to own a Maybach?Or a learjet perhaps? Yet, will you be happy forever once you own these? Yes? For how long? Will all your troubles vanish?

Children amuse themselves with a new toy which holds their attention for a while--then they want another.For adults, the toys are the learjets and the maybachs.

A friend of my friend is in the last stages of cancer.She has got two kids who are 8 and 6.She is writing farewell letters to them, to be opened on their 14th,15th and subsequent birthdays.All the money in the world cannot get her some more time with her kids.

These are dialogues from the movie "Goodwill Hunting" starring Matt Daemon and Ben Affleck which I loved.. The movie won 2 oscars,16 more awards and34 nominations.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Skylar: My father died when I was thirteen and I inherited this money. Did you ever think that everyday I wake up, that I wish I could give it back, that I would give it back in a second, if it meant I could have one more day with him? But I can't. And that's my life and I deal with it.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Skylar: What is your obsession with this money? My father died when I was 13 and I inherited this money. You don't think that every day I wake up and wish I could give it back? That I would give it back in a second if I could have one more day with him? But I can't, and that's my life and I deal with it. So don't put your shit on me when you're the one that's afraid.
Will: I'm afraid? What am I afraid of? What the fuck am I afraid of?
Skylar: You're afraid of me! You're afraid that I won't love you back! Fuck it, I wanna give it a shot! At least I'm honest with you.

__________________________________________________________

They express my sentiments completely.They say it all.For me,money is just paper.I value relationships more.

After all as someone wisely put it:

Money will buy
A bed but not sleep
Books but not brains;
Food but not appetite
Finery but not beauty
A house but not a home
Medicine but not health
Luxuries but not culture
Amusements but not happiness
Religion but not salvation
A passport to everywhere but heaven

And finally, no matter how much money you have or you dont have, you still need four pall bearers to carry you on your last journey.





Monday, November 13, 2006

Your handwriting and you




Graphology is something I’ve always been interested in and something that I’ve been doing for nearly 14 years now..Graphology simply means study of handwritings to reveal an individual’s personality.
You can tell about a person’s nature,whether he or she is an extrovert or introvert,Whether the person is impulsive,artistic,materialistic..Is the person what he really appears to be or are there layers to his/her personality? Handwritings reveal SO much..
I don’t claim to be an expert because my skill is maily self taught,through books and practice..I look at hand written envelopes,receipts,even notes scribbled during a meeting –basically anything hand written and I can tell certain things about that person..Many a time I havent even met that person yet 80% of what I say would be right..I’m always looking at my husband’s office papers,where people he works with would have scribbled some notes in the margin..Then I analyse the writing and ask my husband if that person who scribbled the notes is the way I describe..Most of the time I am accurate..
Certain strokes correspond to different characteristics. A person’s handwriting is more or less consistent with the way he/she is as a person.If you are angry it will reflect in your handwriting..If you are sad, that too shows..
Graphology is a science..Hand writing is a neuro-muscular function of your brain..Therefore every thought , and every emotion you feel reflects in your writing.Your brain is used to certain patterns which are pre programmed and it reflects in your writing..
The moment I analyse a person’s writing, it is almost as if I know the person completely—their strengths,weaknesses,what they really are like..We are socially conditioned to be behave in an accepted way, which very often conceal our true nature..But our writing never lies..It is fascinating how much our writing reveals..and Graphology continues to enthrall me.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Amazing coincidences




There is this blog which I read regularly http://suenotes.blogspot.com/
Today I was pleasantly surprised to find a picture posted, of a flower which is very similar to a picture I clicked of the same flower..What really amazes me is that we are in two different corners of the world..I am in India and the author of the other blog is in U.S.A..I'd clicked this picture at my mom's place(she has a beautiful garden and is an avid gardener) in Kerala,India..And she has clicked it in St.Thomas in US.


Yet our lives,interests and what appeal to us seem similar and I'm able to connect through the blogs.. Internet is a fantastic thing and technology never ceases to amaze me!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

When Friends walk away


It has happened to all of us at one point of time or the other.Friends have been unresponsive or failed to come through, for no apparent reason. Sometimes it happens when you need them the most.Yet they choose to be silent.
It happened to me after my Dad’s death. I was hurting and needed to talk. A person whom I considered a good friend suddenly stopped communicating. She lives in Australia and whenever both of us were online she used to never miss a chance to IM me and we used to chat.After my dad’s death, and after I sent her a message informing her of the same, she suddenly stopped replying to my messages, would always appear offline and never bothered to even reply back or send a condolence message. The same thing happened with another person I consider a good friend. Suddenly there are no replies to text messages,(despite communicating that I have been trying to contact), phone calls are unanswered and not returned.There is complete indifference or it is feigned. I wonder why people do that. Is it because they do not know what to say? Or is it because of things going on in their own lives?
Whatever it is, I find it difficult to accept such behavior. May be it is because I would personally never do it. and I judge everybody by the same high standards that I have set. May be these are what they call the “fair weather friends” --the ones who laugh with you when things are okay but choose to turn away the moment you have something sad. The good thing is that one knows who one’s true friends are. and one feels doubly grateful to have such true friends.The bad thing is that it makes you feel like such a fool to have judged people so wrongly. One finds it hard to accept that one was so na├»ve.The worst thing is that it still hurts.
Found this piece which I felt was a beautiful one. Will do us good to remember it and remind ourselves that it is not our fault when friends walk away.
Reason, Season, or Lifetime--By: Brian A. "Drew" Chalker
What are you??? Are you a Reason a Season or a Lifetime?Pay attention to what you read. After you read this, you will know the reason it was sent to you! People come into your life for a reason, a season, or a lifetime. When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.When someone is in your life for a REASON. . . It is usually to meet a need you have expressed. They have come to assist you through a difficulty, to provide you with guidance and support, to aid you physically, emotionally, or spiritually. They may seem like a godsend, and they are! They are there for the reason you need them to be. Then, without any wrongdoing on your part, or at an inconvenient time, this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end. Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away. Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand. What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled, their work is done. The prayer you sent up has been answered. And now it is time to move on.Then people come into your life for a SEASON. Because your turn has come to share, grow, or learn. They bring you an experience of peace, or make you laugh. They may teach you something you have never done. They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy. Believe it! It is real! But, only for a season.LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons; things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation. Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person, and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life. It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
THANK YOU for being a part of my life.
Work like you don't need the money
Love like you've never been hurt,
and dance like no one is watching.
The picture is an original abstract work which I did sometime back.The human figure running behind the flower shaped kite, represents the futility of trying to hold on to relationships which are fragile.In the other panel,the rope continuing signifies that there are others, whose ties are more soild and therefore more deserving or worthy.Do leave a comment if you liked this painting :-) .Most people do not understand abstract work,therefore the 'artist's explanation' :-)

Weekend with kids and no husband

The prospect of a weekend with my kids and without my husband doesn’t look so bright…Granted that it happens only once in a way. But , when it does, it can be quite a dampener.

The kids are busy playing with their friends and will continue to play for another two hours.. Leaving me in peace to do what I want.. But when you have been together for so long, being suddenly alone, makes you pause and think as to what it is that you really want to do.. Usually we make all plans together.. Today the day is fully mine.. To do as I please.. To plan with the kids.. To take them where I want ..It is kind of liberating..but also a great task as the entire onus is on me.

I guess every day is this way for single moms.. I wonder how they manage. Don’t they get bored? Or maybe its just a matter of getting used to it..

The kids friends have just left and here come the kids!! So much for my calculation of “two hour free time”!!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

A thing of beauty is a joy forever

Am keying this in from my hammock, with a cool breeze blowing.. Am so glad that we finally put the hammock up.. Also doubly glad that I have a laptop :-)Such a relaxed day.. Made this painting this morning, just after the kids left for school.. Was seized by this compelling urge to paint a particular plant in my garden.. It had bloomed and was looking so beautiful that it inspired me to paint. .Loved that dead flower at its base.. Serves as a reminder that nothing lasts forever(except diamonds and paintings may be!) .. Beauty fades, things and people grow old.. Relationships change as do situations.. Some friends go out of your life.. Some new ones move in sometimes you reconnect with someone you lost touch years ago.. and that is always wonderful.

I love teaching or learning Art.. Gives me so much joy to see a thing of beauty created by anyone..Have a class at 4:30 in the evening.Let me go and plan for it.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Silence and your inner voice

When there are no words left to express what you want to say, when there is so much emotion that voice does not suffice, when there is so much love that it crosses all known means of communication, then there is silence.

Silence does not mean that there is nothing to say.. It might mean that there is so much.

Silence is essential because only when there is silence do you listen to your inner voice.. That little voice which gets completely drowned in the daily noises of life.. Music from the i-pod, more music on the CD, Music on the radio, mobiles ringing, friends dropping by , kids fighting, playing, spouses interrupting.. traffic noise, city noises-airplanes, cars and everything else that attempts to make you go faster to wherever you want to reach.. All of this kills the inner voice.. We constantly seek these noises of life, because listening to that inner voice is something that most of us do not want to face. It compels us to act and shakes us out of our comfort zone.. It makes us want to do things that we have never done before.. It also makes us accountable for our actions. .and that is something truly scary.
It is the easiest thing to hide.. We seek refuge behind set patterns, behind societal norms, behind traditions. We run constantly because if we pause we do not know where we are going.

Take a moment to think about what you really want.. In silence. Reflect on it and see what steps you can take to reach there.. It may be a small step, but if it is taken then the amount of satisfaction felt is tremendous.. It may be the answer to our quest for eternal happiness and bliss.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Paragliding-a heady high!



Incredible.Amazing.Exhilarating.Uplifting.Intoxicative.Electric.Soul stirring. Exalting. Inspiring.. or quite simply Out of the world. Running out of adjectives here to describe my first experience of paragliding.

It was such a wonderful experience that I’m hooked for life and I intend going back to do the beginners course. The joy of free flight really is hard to describe. It is something I always wanted to do and I finally did it.(The one in the yellow glider is me) My dad’s death has put in me, this compelling sense of urgency to live life to the fullest and experience every joy that life has to offer. and to do things that you always have wanted to do, but kept putting off.

It was a tandem flight and the instructor was with me. Therefore it was not scary at all, but simply amazing.. As I floated there, in the sky, with the birds, and with everything hundreds of feet below me, the sense of peace and joy I felt was invigorating.
I’ve always looked up towards the sky and seen birds flying and imagined what it would be like for them.I actually for the first time in my life, while I was paragliding, looked down and saw the birds flying, below me! That sight is etched in my memory forever.

There are many experiences in life that make you feel that you are truly alive. This is definitely one of them. It shows you the power of Mother nature. We had driven to this hill and then trekked for about 15minutes to come to this truly amazing spot. There was a very strong wind and a view that made you feel you are in paradise. Even for those who did not fly that day, simply sitting on that hill, and feeling the wind in your hair, while hundreds of feet below, life went on, itself is an unforgettable experience.

And as you fly you remember that you are so insignificant and such a tiny spec in this vast universe. The worries you have are so temporary. The stress you feel just whooshes away and the memories you make last you a lifetime.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Trees are so beautiful


There is something truly beautiful about trees..Each one is so different.They just stand and grow..patient,steadfast,all enduring,rock solid and a mute witness to life...Ever growing,ever changing,yet ever the same tree.

Plan to paint a whole series on trees..This is my first.It is from a photograph I clicked when we were driving on a nice road journey to a quaint place by the sea..Really enjoyed that drive.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Prisoners of thought

Prisoners

Aren’t we all prisoners of our thoughts?
We imprison ourselves with thoughts like
“I can’t”
“What will he/she think of me?”
“If I fail I will be laughed at”
“How can it be possible?”
“It is just not done”
“It is not the right thing”
But we forget that there is nothing that cannot be done.
We forget that it is only what we ourselves think that matters.
We forget that there is nothing wrong or right…
It is only our thinking which makes it so..
And our thinking can make anything possible.
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Had made this painting when i was in one of my really down moods..Later wrote the poem.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Live like there is no tomorrow and Call your parents today.

I lost my dad on September7th, 2006 at 8:35 pm. He was just 65.Had he lived, he would have been 66, this November 18th.What is shocking is that it was most unexpected.It was a day like any other day.It was a full moon night. Not that it matters but it is little details like these that come to the mind. Who knew what fate had in store?

Dad was so fit and so healthy. In fact that morning too he went for his usual three kilometer walk with my mom. Dad and mom are very health conscious and always maintain their weight. Both look much younger than their years and both never had any health problems like diabetes, a high blood pressure or a high cholesterol count which usually affects people their age.

That day, like all days, he spent the whole day at his office (he was the Secretary of a Trust which he’d established after retirement) and in the noon he had some visitors.Every Thursday they have a small prayer meeting, which they conduct and both dad and mom attended that as well.. They, then had their dinner and were both watching television, and were having a conversation. Dad was in his easy chair and mom was lying on the bed, next to him less than a distance of two feet separating them.They were having a conversation and suddenly Dad stopped talking. Mom wondered why he was not answering and when she turned to look at him, his eyes were closed and he was gone.It was that quick, that sudden and that unexpected.In fact both their flight tickets were booked for the September 28th, to come to the place where I live. Dad so badly wanted to come and visit me. He died of a cardiac arrest, which I am told is different from a heart attack. A cardiac arrest happens for no reason. A healthy heart simply stops working, like a clock stops working when its battery finishes.


Dad and I have always shared a very close relationship. Whatever I have achieved in Art is because of my dad. Dad had even preserved the paintings which I did when I was just 7 and has kept it so carefully. In fact I still have all the pictures that I painted right from the age of 7. .It made such a difference to me because whatever I did mattered in the eyes of my dad. Dad was always very optimistic, jovial, friendly and a cheerful person. The very large number of people, who came to the funeral alone, spoke volumes about him as a person. He had so many friends and so many people respected him, sought his advice or would come just to speak to him because they would feel better, after talking to him for a while.He had that magical ability to really listen to people and to give them confidence and hope.

Dad used to work for a large Oil corporation, which also figures in the fortune 500 list .He had retired five years ago as the Chief Area manager.I am so proud of my dad, not because of the official position that he held but because of the kind of person he was. Dad always believed in helping others and in fact after retirement had started a Trust and done a lot of Social work, to help the aged who are poor, abandoned or neglected. Dad used to also hold these English conversation classes to teach the village kids to speak English and it was free of cost. While I was visiting him once, I had accompanied him and conducted one of the sessions. Since I work with children and am very good with kids, the session I conducted was a big hit. Dad was so proud and wished I could do more. But I had to return, as my own two children’s school was re-opening after the vacation.

Somehow dad's death has made me, my brother and mom closer than ever before. It is amazing how much strength we get from each other. Not a day passes without dad on my mind. When I break down, it is almost like telepathy, my brother calls.Or when he is feeling down I seem to know instinctively and I call him. So too with my mom. She says I have this amazing telepathy and I seem to know exactly when she needs me and I invariably call when she is totally down.. After talking to me she feels so much better. It is the same with my brother. It has happened so many times, that now I can no longer dismiss it as coincidence. .I miss my dad like hell.. Some days the grief is unbearable.But what he has taught us always will remain. .I'm so proud that he is inside me and my brother-Confidence, self esteem, cheerfulness, willingness to help others, generosity, unselfish attitude, a spirit of adventure, zest, inquisitiveness, kindness, a love for nature and animals, positive outlook.. so many of dad's qualities are in me and my brother and I feel thankful for that.

In retrospect I am so glad that I had sent my children to my parents place during their vacation and Dad had really enjoyed the exclusive time that he spent with both my kids for two weeks. Later I too joined him and we stayed for a week more. .After returning I used to speak to my dad almost every day. Looking back I am so glad that I did that.

In the end it is only the memories you have left, which you take with you and which continue long after the person has gone. A big lesson which we all have learnt from my dad’s death is that life is so unpredictable and so short. So, one has to live like there is no tomorrow. Do what you want to do. Tell the people close to you how much they matter and how much you love them. Call your folks every day. Because there will come a day when you want to, but it may be too late.So do it NOW.

I do so want to speak to my dad.But there is nothing in this world that I can do to bring him back.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Masking Fluid


Had heard about masking fluid while painting with water colours.. Used it for the first time.. And this is the result.. Personally I feel this painting is just average.. Definitely not one of my best.

Wish we could use masking fluid to mask the emotions that the heart feels.. Sometimes revealing whatever you feel may just not be the best thing! That is if you think with your head.. But when the heart takes over, thinking logically stops…and once you are in the grip of your emotions, you have absolutely no control over your actions.. You are swayed, sashayed and tossed about, without even being aware of it.

The excitement is heady, but the disappointment can be deep too. But as Robert Frost said “Happiness makes up in height what it lacks in length”