Ullage of life

Every single day I get a new word in my inbox from dictionary.com. Sometimes they are words I know, sometimes they are new.If it is a new word, I usually try and understand the context in which it is to be used and I look at the way it is pronounced too. An interesting word I got yesterday was the word 'Ullage'. It set me thinking.

Right now I have relocated from UK to India, and we have moved into a lovely home, which is at the moment, completely bare.  There are no tables, no chairs, no microwave, no TV, no kitchen utensils and worst of all, no writing desk, books, the kids toys or my art stuff which is all bobbing in a ship, in a container in the Pacific Ocean or perhaps it has reached Indian Ocean--who knows! They tell us it will finally arrive by month end. (am keeping my fingers crossed). I am cooking with a few borrowed pans and plates. We sit on the bare floor and eat our meals. Getting stuff organised in India, I am discovering is a long, lengthy and extremely frustrating process.(and God help you if you are not an Indian! I cannot imagine any of my English friends being able to manage in India, unless they knew someone here).  Even obtaining a local mobile phone number was a big hassle and they debarred my number twice, despite my visiting the customer relationship centre and submitting every necessary document two times. Renewing my Indian driving licence is another lengthy lengthy process and if you do not have your own vehicle in India (and right now I don't) one knows how inadequate the public transport system really is. But hey, this is not an NRI returning to India and cribbing and cribbing about what is wrong in the country. (I do love my country, am very patriotic and have  spent more than a year in very uncomfortable and extremely difficult conditions, teaching slum children English and Math, because I do believe that each of us can indeed make a difference if you truly care).

So how is all this connected to the word I received?  Mostly I realised that many of us (and that includes me) tend to focus on the 'Ullages in life'. We look at what isn't right and we feel bad. We complain about the traffic instead of being grateful that we can afford a car/two wheeler. We complain about our jobs and how we got a 'raw deal' instead of being grateful that we're not laid off  or unemployed. We complain about how we don't have perfect figures (propelled by media frenzy which mostly objectifies women with all the hype about size zero) instead of being grateful that we have a healthy body free of disease. One of my good friends recently had a mastectomy done and has battled breast cancer and is a proud survivor. Her spirit is truly amazing as never once has she moaned, cribbed or complained instead she asserts how much she loves all of us, her closest friends and keeps sending us messages of love and hope.

We all tend to look at what we don't have, instead of being happy and grateful for the things we do. Let us stop looking at the ullages of life. Let us instead appreciate what are fortunate to possess.Let us fill our lives with joy, laughter and whatever makes us feel good from the inside.

On my part, I am grateful to have extremely supportive friends (because of whom the relocation from UK to India has been smooth), I am grateful to have a wonderful home, happy that my children got into a superb school (despite it being mid  academic year). I am grateful for the three newspapers (yeah I subscribe to three :) )  I receive every single day (Newspapers were a big luxury in UK and many people don't buy one daily) and which I devour from end to end :-)  I am grateful the extremely cheap texting (I could not believe my ears when the guy told me that I get 500 free SMS a day! I kept asking him if it was for a month! Texting is so expensive in the UK)  which I use liberally to text all my friends my friends  my friends who reply. I am grateful for the sunshine, the lovely weather and a lovely lovely garden which my new home has. I am grateful for the superb facilities which my residential complex has and doubly grateful that I can visit my mother who lives in Kerala very easily now. :-) I am also grateful for such well adjusting children (they have been real darlings) who do not complain even one little bit about anything even though the transition hasn't really been easy for them, moving from UK to India.

What are you grateful for today? If you share I am listening.


 PS:  I leave you with a wonderful video which I loved. Listen to it with your headphones on :) It is surely a pep up :)


  1. I am grateful for today morning and a good night's sleep.

    I am grateful that a good friend sent me healing while I was asleep.

    I am grateful that I am able to read this excellent blog post!

  2. I am grateful, that I have someone who listens to what I say. I am grateful to my dear god for being with me all the time...

  3. I'm grateful for the fact I let common sense prevail when the worst situations come...and I'm grateful that I have a chance to be happy.... I hope that your things come in fast and you'd be able to settle down fast....

  4. I am greatful for having such a lovely partner and wonderful children. Wishing you a nice day

  5. make you keep that smile on your face glowing and glowing on and on.

    Come along and join us to think beyond...visit the link


    and share your own imagination triggered by the image...the comment section is waiting for you....

    "Helping readers to think and increase their imagination power so that they can express their thoughts better"

  6. a feel good post, preeti. I am grateful for all the things i have in life. Affectionate parents, husband, in-laws, children , sister, a lovely home and all those things around me.

  7. I am grateful for a very easy ENT paper today :P
    and a wonderful life, great friends, amazing family.
    Also, a sense of humour and the ability to laugh. Super grateful for that one :)

    You're such an amazing 'radiator' preeti! Hope the ship gets here soon and you settle in perfectly!

  8. Right at the moment,what strikes my mind is that I am grateful to the people who love me,who care for me and whose support makes me strong even in the worst circumstances of life..and yes grateful to you for this post even though you're not completely settled:) It made me feel good reading this.
    Here we are used to sending sms at such low cost (no cost rather!!)I am sure you will (badly) get addicted to sms-ing in no time :D

    Wish you get all your stuffs,bobbing in the ship early
    Good luck :)

  9. Even I moved back to India after living in Japan for 9 years in January this year. Relocating from the most organized country to most disorganized country is still hard. Hope you settle down soon.
    I am grateful today for the company cab that picks me up near my home and drops me till my office building. It saves me some money and energy!But I hope this continues and they do not discontinue the service-- Latha

  10. I am grateful to be able to spend my long vacation in India with mum dad n my daughter :)!

    I left for US 11 years ago...and this time I am staying here for almost 4 months, and I can relate to some of your problems mentioned here first hand.

    But as you said, we need to be grateful for what we have, rather than complain about what we don't have.

  11. Today, am just very grateful for the work from home facility that my office provides :)
    New house sounds nice! Hope to see it someday !

  12. Today, am just very grateful for the work from home facility that my office provides :)
    New house sounds nice! Hope to see it someday !

  13. I am grateful for my work, which gives me an opportunity to do my best everyday, for my colleagues who make me feel special, for my boss who truly understands me.

  14. I am grateful for getting time to visit my parents after an year and spending time with my 4yr old nephew...whose innocent talks always amuse me.
    I am also grateful for a loving husband and our pup ..whose learning to behave :)
    Thanks Preeti for letting us not focus on Ullages of life.

  15. so I learned a new word today :D
    I am grateful for everything :) to be alive... to feel love... to be able to stand on my own...
    lovely post

  16. Hi Preeti,
    Been ages since i left a comment on ur blogpost :))
    I am grateful for so many things that this space seems small..so i tht i wud use my blog for tht purpose :))
    Lovely post straight from the heart... always a pleasure to hear from u...as always u hv managed to spend positivity and optimism in our lives... Best Wishes & Smile always

  17. Awesome post... I just feel so full of life everytime I read ur posts.. :)

    I am grateful for the life I have and for every small thing that makes my heart flutter and my mind wander.. :)

  18. Lovely thoughts Preeti, as always. Welcome back.
    I am grateful for my wife for teaching me photography and also introduced to me many a finer shades of life.

  19. I am grateful for having a cute daughter and a sweet son.
    I am grateful to live my life.
    I am grateful for the people who love me.
    I am grateful for having read such a pleasant post.

    Keep the spark glowing in you:)

  20. Reminds me of Busybee (my favourite column writer)
    When he came out of the fire temple, his wife asked him "what do you pray for daily?"
    He said "Pray? I never pray I go in there to thank for all that I got today"

  21. Hi preethi.I liked the way you accept things n move forward.Good that you have imbibed these things in your children too!Well Iam grateful for me living as a 'family'though people wihin may not be as I had expected.

  22. I am grateful to one of my friend who travelled 5 hrs just to meet me and my family. I am really touched.

  23. First of all, Welcome 'home' :) Really nice post. I wonder how you come up with so many nice things to share...

  24. im grateful 2 u...4 returning to india...:-)...last bt nt da least GOD...im vry much greatful 2 him~

  25. I am grateful that I can go back home earlier than usual!! :) that also means I go home and cook yummy paneer for dinner :)

  26. MS: Share recipe :)

    Shalaka:Thank you :)

    Pia:Thanks a lot for the warm welcome and kind words :)

    Nishu:Friendship is truly a great gift

    Raji:Thanks a lot. I guess we find most what we look for especially in people. Glad u're finding good in them.

    Haddock: Thanks for commenting.That sounds a lot like me too. I also express gratitude a lot

  27. Gopikaa: A loving family is indeed one of the greatest blessings.Thanks a lot for encouragement.

    Amit:Thanks for the welcome. Wow--nice to learn photography. It is one of my (many) interests.

    Sushobhan:Thanks a lot for such wonderful words :)

    Ruj:Thanks so much for the wishes :)

    Rajlakshmi: Being independent is a great thing indeed. Thank you for your kind comment.

    Srujana: children indeed bring joy.Thanks for commenting :)

    Palsworld: lucky indeed to have a great boss!

    Ruch: you're invited! Will text you my new Bangalore numbers soon.

    Shachi: Regards to your parents and love to your baby. Sometimes it gets so frustrating esp when you have come from abroad.

    Latha: yeah--i can imagine how irritating it must have been after nine long years. have u got used to it?

    Aish: Yeah but I reply only if the other person does :P :) I dont like to flood others if its unwelcome or if they are too busy to even text back. Thanks :)

    Sucheta:Thanks for those lovely words and may all ur papers be as easy as ENT one :)

  28. Asha:I am grateful for those things too :)

    Wanderer: Will try but I dont promise :) Thanks for commenting :)

    Aswathi:that is indeed a big blessing in life which many many seek :) Thanks for commenting.

    Caterpillar: oh yes--so important to b level headed. I also hope my stuff comes soon.

  29. The Listener: yes--I hear you. I am immensely grateful to God too.

    Prerna: And i am grateful for such encouragement and an excellent comment :) Thanks :)

  30. Anonymous8:24 PM

    Oh Preeti, you back in India!! I am so J! :D Yeah like you said, there are a lot of irritants when you live in India, but still nothing beats living there huh? It is the land of the tough guys! :) I loved all the positives you said about your locality. :) And lovely word this Ullage .. My first thought was it sounds similar to village ... :)

  31. I am grateful for the wonderful parents and in-laws (who are right now taking care of my son in India)

    grateful for loving husband who helps in everything
    grateful for this wonderful life God has gifted me

    Good to read your post after a long time. Take care

  32. Horizon: Always great to have help with the kids. Thanks for your lovely comment.

    Thoughtfultrain: Certain things I do miss UK but yes it does feel good to be back in one's own country :)

  33. :) Welcome to Awesome place on earth " BANGALORE " ;)
    Hope u hv settled now & i know how much difficult to move from one place to another but moving from one country to another OMG !!!..

    Wish You all the very best & waiting for ur book ;)

    Video & lyrics Is too gud :) :)

  34. now i know a new word too thanks to you...

  35. I am grateful for everything that I have in my life and for everything I am going to receive..

    I am grateful to be alive...


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