Thursday, May 31, 2007

Mumbai and bye (for now!)

Sometime back I had written a post about going to Pondicherry .My tickets were booked and I was looking forward to spending time with my friend, Priya. Sadly, her mother-in-law met with an accident (the car she was traveling in collided with a truck. The driver, (whose wife was 9 months pregnant, and due to deliver anytime) died on the spot. Her Mother-in-law succumbed to injuries on 25th May. My going there as a ‘guest’ now would be totally inappropriate. Therefore that trip is postponed indefinitely.

Instead I am going to Mumbai.(Bombay)—India’s largest and the most multicultural city. The city has a vibrant zing that is difficult to describe. 15 million people live in Mumbai, in towering sky scrapers and sprawling slums. It is hard to describe the spirit of the city. I used to live and work in Mumbai, some years back. I loved it then—and still love it!

My brother still lives there—and he has a lovely sea facing apartment. I can just cross the road and go the beach. I will be staying with him for the next two weeks. I am really looking forward to spending time with my niece Gia, and my brother’s wife.
Here are pictures of Gia. I am so totally in love with her (can you tell?!!) I went mad yesterday buying things for her!








You will not see me online much, as I will have very limited net access.

And in the meantime, I am leaving you with links to my older posts that I liked, apart from "posts of note" that you see on the top right hand corner of this page :-) ( Come back and read them one by one—one day at a time! That way I wont miss you too much!!)

A matter of perspective

Connect to others

So much beauty

Why did you leave?

Money

Call your parents today

The roaring twenties

Paragliding--a heady high

Love meter!

Kite runner


Just in case

Mama Bear

Radiators and drains


See you all when I get back!



Monday, May 28, 2007

Laughter and Forgetting

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It is 5:25 am and I have woken up sweating. Despite the air conditioning. Beside me, my kids and my husband are fast asleep.

It feels as if someone has just been pounding away at my heart with a sledge hammer. Grief is overwhelming and is upon me in colossal waves. It’s been 8 months now since he’s gone.

On the outside, it seems as if I have coped remarkably well. Nobody sees my tears any more. I don’t talk about it as much as I used to. I tell my mom that this was for the best. I feel really bad for my children. (They were very close to him) I tell them too that this was for the best. This was exactly the way he would have liked it. Many people aspire for this, yet few get it. He is lucky. Really lucky. And I smile a big smile to show it is okay.

Inside, it feels so raw. It feels as if someone has reached right in, and scooped out something with a machete, and forgotten to put a gauze, to make it stop bleeding.

Every small thing, still reminds me of something he might have said. His laughter rings in my ears. So do his words, his voice, his cheerfulness, his comforting presence, his clear logic, his positivism—and the way he wanted to brighten every single person’s life.

More than anything, it is the bare and stark fact, that all I have left is memories. One part of me, desperately wants to believe in reincarnation, and ‘soul & body’ concept and afterlife and things like that. Another part of me just says it is nothing but made up stuff, to help you cope with death better. Death is the end. Your body is burnt or buried—it decomposes or the ashes that remain are scattered .That is it. (“
In the end, you’re just the same. Lifeless organic matter.”)

Many of my ‘online friends’ have helped me remain sane, without even realizing it. Most of them don’t even know that I have just lost somebody who meant the world to me, so recently. I don’t tell them. They chat with me online, about mundane things and this and that. I’m still able to make them laugh. And laugh with them.

I forget.For a while.

It helps me cope.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Child with a view!


This image, again clicked by Atul,(aged 9) caught me by surprise, when he showed it to me. (click on photo to enlarge.I simply loved the details)

Made me think about how we, as adults, stop noticing the tiny things—The pebbles for instance. Looking at the world through the eyes of a child, really changes your perspective.

I have worked with children, for many years now—and what amazes me is their originality and the unfettered creativity, not bound by adult notions, the innocence, the joy and the unconditional love that you receive, as one of the primary care givers.

A few years back, when I used to teach at a pre school, the moment I opened the gate there would be a large group of children aged between 3 & 4, all running towards me with outstretched arms, shouting my name, wanting a hug! I had to put my handbag down and hug each one, before I could proceed to the class room.

Children are so expressive. And so frank. They are observant, sharp and keep you alert and thinking. And how they make you laugh!

Sometimes, they do get on your nerves—but they teach you to have tremendous patience too :-)

I, for one, am really happy and thankful that I have kids! For now, I cannot imagine how empty my life would be, without them.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Not so nice --but honest!

Sometimes, I come across these images which say more than a thousand words can! I cannot resist sharing them.

Sometime back, I had put up
one such picture and Paul found it completely out of character for a 'nice lady' like me to have such a whacky sense of humour. Mr.Fab also finds it amusing that I really enjoy his blog.

What!! Do I appear 'so nice'? Let me assure you people--I am not! It just seems that way.

And here is the image that I found, which said it, just the way it is!

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Monday, May 21, 2007

Happy birthday Purvi!

Picture clicked this morning --Purvi turned 6 today.

On this day, 6 years ago,
You came into this world
At the break of dawn.

We named you Purvi
Which means “From the east”
Like the rising sun.

You were now outside of me
I could no longer feel
You kicking or turning within.

Yet, I feel every heartbeat
Every emotion, Every joy
Powerfully--like you are me.

You smile and my world lights up
I wait for you to come back from school
With outstretched arms.

You talk and laugh
You love and care
You are my heart that goes walking outside my body.

We love you Purvi

Happy birthday my darling.

With love

your mom

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Pondicherry...and Priya.

Pondicherry is a small quaint sea side town, in the south of India, about 162 kilometres from Chennai (formerly Madras). To say that it fascinates me and I am completely in love with the place, would be to put it mildly. (click on the underlined word to see pictures and the official site)

The whole place is divided into two areas—the ‘white town’ and ‘the rest’. For more than two hundred years, the place was a French colony. The slight French accent which tinges Tamil and English languages that we hear spoken, remains a living memory to the culture of this place. In the same way, the alignment at right angle of the streets remains a lovely inheritance of French architects. Many people still have the French citizenship—and you will hear French being spoken widely.

I have constantly moved, as a child and as an adult. (the average time I would have spent in a place would be approximately 3 and a half years). I had the fortune of staying in the white town area of Pondicherry ,for nearly two years. I loved it all—the streets, the people, the architecture, the beach, the eating joints, the language and the general aura that the town exudes.(you can almost feel the calmness)

The places shown in this short clip are so familiar to me as I used to live just a few metres away from it—and this clip brought back such fond memories.




More than all this, Pondicherry was also the place where I met one of my closest friends —Priya. (I have to write a whole new post to tell you about her. She is one of the most courageous and inspiring women I have come across. I shall tell you her story in another post)

Priya and I hit it off, almost instantly. We met, as both her children attended the same school as my two. I was new to the place and trying to get to know people. When you move so often, talking to new people and making friends becomes an essential survival skill. I started a conversation with her. There was an instant and immediate connection. It was almost like we were soul mates. Our thinking was alike, our love of books, ‘intellectual discussions’ and the sense of humour. She too has a son and a daughter like me, and our children too loved each others company.

Priya lived very close to me and Priya’s apartment overlooked the beach. As soon as our children arrived from school, we would quickly finish whatever school work there was and hurry to her place. We spent many happy hours or her terrace, overlooking the sea, laughing like nuts and talking endlessly- some ‘intelligent conversation’, some foolish talk, (but never a dull moment!)- sipping tea, while our children had a whale of a time, playing with each other.

Priya is one friend whom I cherish, and when I had to move from Pondicherry, she was almost heart broken. It is always harder for the person who gets left behind. The person who moves has a new place to look forward to. She later told me that for months afterwards, she could not bear to look at my old apartment, knowing I was gone.

But, as they say, we meet to part and part to meet. I had moved to Bangalore and Priya came to visit me with her children. The days that they stayed with me, were some of the happiest moments that I have had. It was so much fun. But then, practical things like school and work always interferes with ‘good times.’ And she had to go back to her life .

Since then, I moved again—this time to a place in Western India .The first thing which struck me when I was sight seeing the places here, was how much Priya and her children would enjoy seeing this. She has promised to make a trip.

They say if there are no good times, you make them happen. And I am doing just that.
Iwill be visiting Pondicherry AND staying with Priya!! Of course my kids will go with me. They are counting the days left to ‘go to pondicherry’.

The dates havent yet been finalised. I will be there for almost a fortnight. I hope to click lots of pictures and like my kids, I just cant wait!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Hair today,Gone tomorrow.

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The global haircare market generated total revenues of $30.5 billion in 2005, this representing a compound annual growth rate of 3.3% for the five-year period spanning 2001-2005.
In the US alone, about 80,000 hair care salons (75,000 beauty salons; 5,000 barber shops) generate combined annual sales of $16 billion.

History has been witness to the changing hairstyles, through different ages. It is interesting that men did not always have short hair. I remember reading somewhere that around 1698, tax was imposed on long hair, by a ruler (I forget the name) and it led to short hairstyles for men.

Why does the way our hair feel or look, affect our attitude to ourselves and others attitude to us, so powerfully?

Hair has come to play such an important part of our anatomy, affecting our psyche.
How our hair is cut, colored or styled, telegraphs to the world our personality, attitude and style. Your hairstyle (or lack of it!) speaks volumes about you.

A friend of mine, who is also a mother of two began losing hair, about two years back. She was perfectly healthy, leading a busy life, running a home, managing her two children (and her husband!) and completely involved in an active life. Suddenly, she started losing a lot of hair—so much that the scalp began showing. A visit to the doctor told her that she had androgenic alopecia –a term which I had not even heard until then.

She felt terrible about it. And there was nothing she could do. She was told that her condition was reversible and she would probably get back her hair. She was also treated for hormone imbalance.

My friend felt so upset about it that she went along with her husband and bought a wig. The wig maker intially thought that the wig was for her husband as he was bald!

Why is it that hair loss bothers women so much more than it bothers men? (or so it seems)

Maybe it is because long hair in women, has always been associated with ‘beauty’. And many men cite long hair in a woman as a major ‘turn on’. Some societies recognize the sexual allure of hair and for this reason have laws or customs requiring the covering or removal of hair. Often, the shaving of the head is used as a form of punishment, or as in the case of the military, to destroy the psyche of self so that the soldier can be re-programmed as one of a team where all are alike, if not exactly equal.

Many women worry that short hair or being completely bald looks boyish and lacks feminity. I think it just depends on the person who is looking!

I, for one, think that it completely depends on how the woman feels about herself. I used to have waist length long, thick, hair until I got married. I was so fed up of people telling me that I had such lovely hair.(I must have heard it a thousand million times since childhood) and I used to hate people commenting about my hair .Invariably, that was the first thing they said.

After I got married, I asked my husband if he was one of those men who hated short hair in women. When he said no, without a moment's hesitation I chopped it all off!

I think bald looks beautiful too. Recently I watched Natalie Portman in 'V for vendetta'. She was so pretty with her head shaved off. And Sinead O Connor too. And who can forget ‘Right said Fred’ ? (I don’t want to mention Britney Spears!)

I would have liked to try shaving my head. But I felt a tad sorry for my children (imagine attending PTAs with a shaved head) and so refrained!

And in the end, all that matters is a smiling face, a kind heart and being sensitive to others—not a head full of hair.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Why I love my laptop

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And now for the next 1 week my husband is going to live in it too..Sigh!
(How in the world did we manage, before the internet happened?)

Thursday, May 10, 2007

How unfortunately true!

It takes a woman twenty years to make a man of her son, and another woman twenty minutes to make a fool of him.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

In order to fly.


The poem was written by me, on 9th May 1994. Thirteen years have flown. Pure coincidence, that the date matches, almost exactly.

Tha painting was completed a few days back. It shows a sea gull taking flight.Away from the cactii, which almost seem human-- threatening , frightening, surrounded by darkness.

The picture I painted seems apt for the poem I wrote so many years ago.

Sometimes, we just have to be pushed, in order to be able to fly. Only then do we realise what we are really capable of.

**************************************************

Freedom

Free of the shackles,

That imprisoned the soul,

I discover now, the broken wing,

Wanting to soar,but compelled to limp,

Step by step,I painfully tread.

A stumble here,a step missed there,

Nevertheless onwards, the quest goes on,

And before I know,

Guided by a force unknown,

The footing is suddenly,surer than before,

And here I am,

Now, flying once more.
*****************************************************************



Sunday, May 06, 2007

Amazing Denny Dent

Those of you who have heard of Denny Dent, will already know why he is amazing. Those of you who dont, watch the video.

Have a great Sunday!

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It happened one night.

She was 23.Young and pretty. She had moved to Mumbai. It was from a small town to a large city , teeming with life, a lot like New York. She was enjoying her financial independence and her time, as a single girl. The irresponsible life and a string of good friends. She was finding herself, living and loving every moment of it.

He was 28. Professionally qualified .Chocolate boy looks and a great job. Ready to settle down. He had met tonnes of women who fawned over him. They were good girlfriend material—but not good wife material.(or so he believed)

Then he met her. Reluctantly. And it was only because his dad had insisted. His dad had been impressed by her family antecedents. Unknown to him, she was meeting him, simply because her mother had insisted too. It was easier to oblige her mom than incur her wrath.

Maybe it was the magic of the night. (The time was 9:45 pm when they met. The date was 17th March .The year--1995) Or maybe it was his charm that worked. Or perhaps her wit won him over. Or maybe he liked her laugh. (She was always laughing). Who knows. Strange are the ways of love. And life.

They talked and they talked. They laughed. It was almost as if they had known each other forever. She matched him, repartee for repartee. Joke for joke. They laughed some more and they talked some more.

Three days later, he asked her to marry him. She said yes. He couldn’t wait. They were married on 28th April 1995.Barely, within 40 days of knowing each other.

12 years later, they are still together. He still worships the ground she walks on. She still waits for him and hugs him at the end of the day. (Even if she is sometimes tired and grouchy). They have two lovely children too—a boy who is 9 now and a girl who will soon turn 6.

They just celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary. And so the story goes on.

All because, on that fateful day, two people threw caution to the winds and followed their hearts.




___________________________________________________________
The above is not fiction. We just celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary on 28th April 2007. I’m so thankful and feel fortunate that I have such a wonderful life partner, my friend, mentor, philosopher and mood booster- Satish. I am really proud of him.We have come a long, long way.Together.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

How sinful!

What is a sin? Who defines it?

We are all conditoned to accept unquestioningly, certain things, as sin.Have you ever thought, why?

If it is a sin, why is it so much fun?

And finally, how sinful are you? I took this quiz and it was fun. (and not a sin) :-)

This is what it said about me. (does this mean I'm not having fun?!)
What about you? (click on the link below this box to find out)


Your Deadly Sins

Greed: 40%

Wrath: 40%

Pride: 20%

Envy: 0%

Gluttony: 0%

Lust: 0%

Sloth: 0%

Chance You'll Go to Hell: 14%

You'll die in a shuttle crash, on your way to your resort on the moon.