Fostering – A light at the end of the Tunnel

“It was dark and cold and it just did not seem right. The place was unknown and all the new smells distracted me. But I somehow did not experience excitement and my whole body was shaking with fear.

I never knew fear all these days when I was under a roof with my humans around me. But, I cannot see them here anymore. Where am I and how did I get here?

All I can remember is two strange men, walking up to me. I was so scared that I did not even want to get close to them. But they grabbed me and put me in a box with wire frames and drove me to another new place. New smells again and this time I heard so many others like me screaming for help.

I did have some humans inspecting right after then, but I was so confused amidst all the chaos, that I did not know how well I should have behaved. They took a picture of me and I could sense that this time, it was not a happy one. I now had a number and no name. I wish I could tell them what my real name was, but they wouldn’t understand. So I let the number be my new name for the time being.

I was now put in a bigger room with broader metal frames and with some company, but I still could not stop shaking with fear. I had forgotten all my manners and all I wanted was to see were my parents- my humans.  I felt lost in a dark long tunnel and hope was all that I could cling on too.”

Every day, hundreds of homeless pets and those who are no longer viable to the breeding industry are brought into the shelter from the most unimaginable and dreadful corners of the city. Not only is this a nightmare for the innocent dogs and cats to whom, we mean the world but also to those who rescue them challenging their own ability, if they can help transform yet another ‘let down’ innocent life. The shelters are always over flooded and there can never be enough space to accommodate constant incoming members.

Endless days and nights together, are put into work by dedicated rescue groups trying to tag those sadly abandoned four legged friends, just to give them a second deserving chance to live their life. This is when an enormous role of fosters, ready to volunteer with all their patience, dedication and love are pledged to pitch in.

One may think the shelters are the safest place for the shunned pets, but sadly this isn’t true. The safest place for a pet is always with their human parents and nowhere else.

When an individual volunteers to foster a dog in need, from that very moment they become the ray of hope for the ‘one’ who is lost in the dark tunnel.

So one may ask, “What is Fostering?”

Fostering, like any other rescue, is a selfless dedicated service towards a homeless pet. It is a brave and a life changing step that a pet lover can take to transform the soul of an abused and abandoned animal, helping them to reaffirm their faith on mankind. When you choose to foster, you allow the rescued dog to decompress itself and let them process their harsh reality of being dumped by the ones who means the word to them. A foster plays an integral role in rehabilitating a confused and depressed dog or a cat with patience, affection and persistent routine.

Who and how can I Foster?

There are several rescues groups floating in every city who are frantically looking for dedicated fosters to volunteer with them. Sadly, there are not as many fosters available to lend their time and home to a dog or cat in contrast to the huge number of them, who are being given up at the shelters. Anyone who can devote their heart to this service, can foster. In fact, the more the number of people coming forward to foster, directly means the more number of dogs that can be pulled out of the shelter by several rescue groups and be prepared for a forever loving home. A foster not only gives the dog a second chance but also helps a family find their perfect companion.

What does it cost you?

A foster is only expected to take care of clean food and water for the rescued pet. The time, effort and the affection that a foster can provide is needless to say, priceless. All the other medical expenses like vaccinations, antibiotics, spay or neutering are taken care by the rescue groups who work hard to raise donations through minimal adoption fees and fundraisers.

Isn’t saying goodbye painful?

It sure is. The minute one decides to foster a needy soul, they can recognize themselves as one who is much more than just being a pet lover. From the very first day that a foster starts working with a rescue dog, he or she not only helps to decompress them from their current situation but also becomes that very special person who restores their faith in humans, once again.

 It is most definitely an evolving process for both individuals on either side of the leash, one who saves and the other who has been saved. But when it comes to looking at the bigger picture, one does eventually realise that it is just the beginning and so many more stories await to be discovered at their door step.

What does one receive by Fostering?

Well, the fact is there is no monetary benefit involved in fostering as one may think or assume. It is purely an act of kindness for another fellow being and the only and most gratifying reward is when you see your foster recover and come out their old tainted shell, transformed into one love bug and plenty of applications pour in from homes that have long waited for their companion.

It sounds rewarding in its own different way. Isn’t it? If have you have ever thought of fostering a rescued dog, to give them another chance to a beautiful life, maybe this is the time. After all it is never too late to offer some love and care in a world that needs it most, like never before.

Fostering an abandoned dog just happened as a chance to me. I never knew what it meant in the truest sense, unless I started doing it and since then it has been 2 years and 10 dogs now and I haven’t regretted this step that I took in my life.

It is certainly one step ahead of just being a dog lover and the reward to witness the transition of an abandoned and cheated soul to one that can have his/her faith restored in mankind is nothing less than priceless.  It’s much like the belief of “An act of Kindness, One at a Time.”

Ever since then, I have been asked, acknowledge and even mocked at, for bringing in dogs home, working with them and getting them adopted to the most ideal forever homes and it takes a lot of immunity for me to remain unaffected. 😀  and inspired me to collect and put down all my reasons and thoughts through this blog. ♥

 

Photo credit: Christoph Peich

Que Sera Sera

“Whatever will be, will be..

the future’s not ours to see..

Que Sera Sera”

One of the most popular chart-busters of the 1950’s by Doris Day, could not have been more evident as for today.

I crisply remember this song being taught back in the cherished school days in our music lesson classes and our beautiful music teacher swaying her head, while her dainty fingers danced on the black and white bold keys of the piano, stimulating modest auditorium of little girls who could just barely be patient to sing the chorus.

Oh, I just wish if we could sing the chorus in the same spirit even today as matured adults!

I was doing the dishes the other day, with millions of thoughts patrolling my mind asking questions and searching for feasible pacifying answers when an old chord struck me like a jolt. And it was the chorus of this beautiful song, “Que Sera Sera”.

I washed and dried my hands in excitement, asking the patrol to take some rest and the very next moment I couldn’t help but play the music loud on You Tube and gazed outside the window feeling somewhat contented.

I love how the questions transition along the phases of our life but never end, even though they are wished to vanish at some point or other.

Soaking in the lyrics, I reminisced the unbreakable bonding that I shared with my mother as a young girl who simply followed her like her tail with endless questions, a teen who kept asking her for beauty advice, curious to know the world beyond the graduation ceremony, a young lady setting her steps to build her career, the woman looking forward to marry the man she loved and the one now, who still has plenty of questions for the life ahead of her. But ever since then and till the gist of our gossips today, she has had one common ground answer to all, “Don’t worry, you are a strong girl and everything will be just fine.”

I sat and smiled feeling perplexed, if my instinct to question was my natural curiosity or if it was her consolation that has always made me seek for comfort.

It is most certainly a mother’s strength to retain her patience year after year, irrespective of distances and inopportune situations, that she never fails to soothe her children with her magical support.

It is also so undeniably true, that no matter how hard we want or try to control, “whatever will be, will be and the future’s not ours to see”. We spend most of our lives thinking of the ‘tomorrow’ and the joys of the ‘present’ just slip by, unnoticed and unappreciated. There is absolutely nothing that we can achieve by pining for a better ‘tomorrow’ unless we prepare ourselves and act for a conscience and a kinder ‘today’. Because even though we cannot see, there ought to be far more better things that lie ahead of us than where we might have been or where we may feel stranded at the moment. After-all, we are the only artist of our lives and it is we alone who have the liberty to fill strokes of our most desired colors.

If you have been having a hard time or even if you are lucky not to go through one, please spare some time to savor and indulge yourself in these wise, classic lyrics.  https://youtu.be/SdhAfMor9BM

Thank you so much Doris Day for giving us this piece for our heart♥

Feature Image By: Tom Ezzathkhah

..and Happy Women’s Day

As a teenager, a thing like “Happy Women’s Day” would mean no more than the greeting cards that flooded the stores, flowers being sold at the roundabouts and the  TV commercials engaged in happy women propaganda’s.

And today, the scenario is pretty much still the same but  I am with a different perspective of course.

I grew up in a house with more women than men, read in a convent school that insisted on teaching values more than swallowing text matters and both of these combined, prepared me and so many more like me, around in this world for a reality different than that of fairy-fables without having to give up on the fact that magic and miracles do happen.

I wonder at times, what gives us so much strength to endure the passing storms of everyday life so gracefully or at least  make us appear graceful at any given time? Is it because we never stop believing in the magic of the “what ifs’?”

 Not only are we the living hormone factory but also the empire of overflowing emotions. I bet, each one of us would agree that it is rare we feel the same way throughout the day, each and everyday,thanks to the variety of chemicals and sub chemicals entertaining our hormonal system and yet it is the tiny little casual things that emotionally move our worlds. Ain’t that funny!

We are gifted with strength, passion, admirable inner and outer beauty, love and affection and the sole ability to procreate another life form. However, in spite of the all the bestowed grace we have ‘supposedly’ been set at the mercy of acceptance and acknowledgement of others and at least at some point or the other, personified to become someone else’s perception rather than our own, impersonating the many things a woman “is supposed to be” than what she “is”and the prejudice has ever since continued.

It is wonderful to reflect as a woman today, to fathom the system of creation that allows a girl to celebrate her phases as a little girl that chirps like the happy birds of spring, an enthusiastic and ‘creative in her own ways’ kind of a young daughter, a blooming lady in no-time, preparing her wings to set herself off with a basket full of dreams and aspirations.

With her spirit cultured with magic and miracles of bedtime fairies, she is pumped to explore her life of dreams that are only meant to come true. However there is so much out there that changes the whole equation of what she wished for and what she received instead.

There are rules and norms, perceptions to handled, duties to be fulfilled, sacrifices to be made, master the virtue of forgiveness, battles and insecurities to fight and the constant need to provide caped in a personality full of poise and grace to reclaim yourself as a women at the end of the day.

And in all this turmoil, it is our tiny little dreams that get shoved in the dark corners of the closet. Some of us never get a chance to look for and trace them back and some of us who manage to light the fire of our dreams and pull out that piece of our forgotten bit, make wonders happen surprising the audience that once doubted us.

I seldom smile to myself when I am forced to think if it is this gifted & secret power of women to rise like a phoenix, irrespective of her circumstances,the need for her to be suppressed, questioned, denied and treated differently from her fellow gender?

After all, it absolutely does not need a man alone to change the fate of a woman but the woman herself, who raises both a man and a woman to bring the change we still wait to see.

 ♥Cheers to us and to all the strong women in our lives!♥

Image Source : Pinterest

February Fever

It is the popular month of February and not because it has the unusual 28 days or the rare 29 days stretch but more because the branding industry has genuinely endorsed this month as diligently as I would want to bake a cake.

I mean, from the time I realized myself as a teen, the promotion of ‘February’ has really got my hopes high and let me ponder with nothing more than a  “why?” and at times a “when?”

The television channels from back then until now are nothing more than the color pink or red, flooded with tempting chocolates, roses, shining diamonds, sales and offers and snugly bears and overly happy couples. It is not that I do not admit couples can be really that happy, but the temptations they create are so hard to resist, I tell you.

Almost every store, even the grocery or the pet stores have red hearts floating around and tons of chocolate boxes and huge bears dumped right at the entrance and you feel like jumping right into them just like a kitten would react to pile yarn balls. But hold on, “I am definitely a mature 30+ women (not that numbers really matter) and why on Earth am I still wanting to behave like a desirous teen girl? What is wrong with me?” Well,hell no, “I am very much human and all this around me is sparking that old teen fire and not letting me be me.”

And to top it all, even friends till date often end up asking about special plans for the Valentine’s day and I bland and maturely address them back by sweetly saying, “Nothing much, we may just go for a nice dinner.” Oh trust me, in this rat race if I am served hot dinner even at home, having nothing to do, I will treat multiple days as the special February day. No roses, no diamonds, no chocolates just a princess treatment should well suffice. 😉

And, in all this hype and celebration and tempting distractions to spend the wallet, it is my spouse who is my closest soft target (but of-course). I simply love to trouble him (in the good ways) from time to time to keep the spark sparkling. 😀vulpes_vulpes_face

So, this afternoon I reminded him about the first and the last rose he gave me when we first started dating 4 years ago emphasizing the fact that it not the materialistic things that matter however they can seem to make some more sense on particular days.

Me: “You know what? I guess it would be a great idea to relive it again”

He: “Sure, do you want to go to the nursery and shop some plants?”

Me: “Really ? That many?”

He: “Sure, why not? You would not have one but lots of flowers all round the year.”

Me:” Wow, that was my husband talking!”

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Me Again: ” How about we go to the shelter and adopt some dogs for our family? We love dogs don’t we 😀

He: “dogS?”

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Me: “Why not? Isn’t that an effective gift, a family member who we can have for life.?”

He: ” When is the time that you are not this creative? We should talk at leisure then.”

Well, this is pretty much how my teen valentine fever has modified and nurtured over the years and now I living with my  partner who is certainly my best buddy and stress buster but also technically incapable to think hypothetically which is why I have to work hard to constantly being creative and pretty much show him the mirror. super-grin

But on a serious note, I feel that besides the glitz, glamour, craze and a blow to the wallet that the social media or the marketing industry has brought upon us for the first 15 days of this month, it is indeed nice to celebrate the little things and reflect on the cherished moments that our loved ones bring into our lives not just on one day but for days and years together.

It is eventually not that things we buy or give on a said date, but the smallest gestures that last for even more than a lifetime even though the cuddly-snugly bears on the store  counters stare right back into your eyes and insistently tell you ~ “C’mon ask me out of here. ” 🙂 ♥

Pic Courtesy:
Featured image By: Laura Ockel & google images

In a quick flashback

The calendar is on the 27th December 2016, today and I was in simply in no mood to work on my designs, rather just chose to sit in my cozy living room that is comparatively larger when I am alone in our apartment. And yes, I had one of my most adorable foster dog, Cupcake chilling out with her head on my lap and with all the happy hormones oozing out in both our systems, I couldn’t help drifting into time lapse.

Each year around this time, it is like customary when we say and hear people say, “how quickly has the year passed!” and much like a ritual its one of those prime topic time to discuss about new year resolutions, at pretty much all gatherings. I had one today this very afternoon during lunch with my husband, just that I did not have much to participate in it.

So, in return I asked him, “What are your new year resolutions?”

“Nothing much”, he said with a pretty decent list that followed thereafter. That is one of his modest ways of expressing his plans and me being pretty dumbfounded.

I really din’t want to think about any resolutions, but just be my better version each day and just take it as it comes. I do definitely want a career break and some cash inflow , be more focused, positive, a more matured version of being in my 30’s, read the books that I eventually hoard from the library and do more animal rescue stuffs. Phew! It seems I got at least something sorted by the year end.

In this whole year, rather starting from the middle of 2015, I have been riding on life’s horseback like an amateur, just grabbing tightly enough not to fall off.

I do not want to sound negative or depressive but it is my heart typing through my fingers today and I want it to flow out so that I have some new room for thoughts to be launched in the next three days. With sleepless nights for more than a year, a push that needed to kick me out of bed, my best friend who is my mother having a stroke and the eventful phase of the ‘no stable career’ mode has given me a run for peace of mind.

The transfer to a new country from India to ‘reset’ my life, friends distancing merely thinking that being in USA is rolling in a bed of velvety rose petals, waiting patiently and non patiently to hear for a job interview with not a single turn-up and then eventually wanting to have a company with a dog with no adoption procedure clearing through has been pretty much the sadder highlights. Instead, I ended up having 6 foster dogs with the 7th rescue dog who was comforting me with her head on my lap, all of whom I gave a piece of my heart and then wept like a mother who gives away her daughter in marriage, when these babies got adopted. I am sure I am going to pour out all the water my tear ducts can support when Cupcake/CC/Cici gets adopted too.

It is not that I am not happy for them. Of course I am. But like I said, I am the mother giving away her child and getting all emotionally unstable and a helpless husband comforting me with much planned ahead lunch or dinner date.

However, I am glad that I could in the least, foster rescue dogs and give some love and get greater in return from them in this year. And while I have had periodic doubts being a good human mother, I realized my confidence that I can be a much better ‘dog mom’. I turned Vegan this year and started off with my  vegan food fascination through  “My Vegan Diary” and stood up for this one very thing that I feel so strongly now, in spite of all the interview sessions that I had to answer at all food invites and even one rare positive nod made a lot of difference to me.

My swim in the uncertainties of the ‘2016’s survival’ has made in flow in the direction of many currents, focused and unfocused and made me rant my heart, mind and soul to my roommate~ my lucky husband. I  will certainly thank my stars for choosing him as my partner but he definitely has the capacity for my outbursts and yet keep me and him, sane. ♥

With the last very few days remaining, I really hope that 2016 tries to bring no more adverse world changing events for any of us. We’ve really had enough. And to be a little self-centered, I would want to give 2017 a heads up, that I am really anticipating you to be little nicer to me and have some mercy, if not on me but on the man who bears the brunt of my crazy stars.

To all of my blogging friends who might read this post, please allow me to thank you from every corner of my author’s heart for appreciating my blogs and for the exciting count of followers of ‘mindeology’ because trust me, it does make a lot of difference when an unknown friend spares some time reading your heart and mind. 🙂

I am positive to bring in some new & happier events in the coming transitional days. Until then, stay safe, stay sane and sail on. 🙂

Thank You for the Featured Image

Look In The Mirror and That’s Your Competition

Have you ever sensed the fear of looking back right into your own eyes?  I am pretty sure to have come across this strange feeling many a times and that is why, when I chanced upon this quote, it had to be part of my “Mindeology”.

We often remain unhappy and at the same time, sense satisfaction in the moments we compare ourselves with those around us. While competition is good when healthy, it can be mentally devastating when otherwise and each one of us who have realized this at some time or other, can honestly vouch for it.

I am an ardent admirer of Robin Sharma’s work. I never feel tired reading  all the little things that he writes because I truly believe that a huge part of my approach towards life has been built reading his work and also the “Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho and I am so glad that I did. It was in one of  Robin Sharma’s work where I clearly remember reading about the menace of the ‘rat race’.

Even back then, when I was not a part of it, it made so much sense. I guess, most of us all go through a phase of the rat race, one that runs in an absurd direction and has no finish line. It is not only difficult but eventually futile, as the race never ends until it’s the time we stop comparing our  situation , better or worse, with those who are around us.

We all want to be fit, be pretty, be rich and famous, win laurels, see ourselves in a state of luxury that is in reality, less self-defined but more of a comparison, in order to head a social conversation or be at the top of a fictitious hierarchy. But what is the point for all the cry, destruction of our inner peace, anger and useless excitement when we haven’t yet won over our own former self?

Look In The Mirror and That’s Your Competition.

And that is when I learnt that the biggest competitor to be considered against oneself is our very own former version. When the only persistent thing in nature is change, it is always a great idea to begin it on a positive note with our own-selves.

It ain’t easy and neither does it come over a fortnight. It is a practice as essential as breathing and eating and over time, this practice of continual self improvement seeps into our system becomes a part of us.

The moment we realize our own shortcomings, our own mistakes and make an oath to ourselves to bring the needed changes to our perspective, get introduced to a new knowledge, challenge ourselves with an exploration, go an extra mile to be more passionate in the things we love to do and choose a healthier and compassionate living, we indefinitely are one step closer to the “newer us” than “our yesterday”.

At the end of the day, our mirror should also be able to reflect ‘what’ kind of person or ‘who’ we have and remain charming forever rather than merely focusing on physical or cosmetic beauty that can easily fade away with a just splash of water.♥

United & Divided

With so much happening around lately or rather more of the things that happen to come to surface over the recent times, I unwillingly feel, how strangely we are more united and divided in ways, now than ever. It is not that I wish to nag or complain when so much negativity surrounds us on a day to day basis, but it is the constant fight with oneself and the over pouring of information around us, that it is indeed a challenge to keep my mind in a stage of sanity.

In a phase, that I believed to have progressed from the life of the caves and striking pebbles to light a flare, we have simply transitioned to one that is clouded by nothing but damaging self created illusions.

Today we live in high rising & sky-kissing buildings like never before, transitioned from bullock carts to battery driven fuel efficient cars and eat a meal that is more of a luxury than a necessity. Thanks to the hard-work and sweat of our previous generations that we belong to this privileged race where we can earn a hefty paycheck while warming up our chairs all day long, while some rise and melt down along with the Sun.

It is hard to ignore the fact that in someway or the other we all depend upon each other in our life-cycle and along the chains of demand and supply. It is this beauty of interdependence that we all unknowingly participate in , that leads us to either step onto or climb the ladder of livelihood and co-existence.

Yet, how good are we in acknowledging this unseen thread that binds all of us together in some way or the other?

We are living in a time today,that is witnessing the biggest holocaust ever in terms of both human and animal slavery, for the sake of some pleasure that my simple or half-witted mind cannot process through, especially when I see commoners such as me pride over it. “Speciesism”, is thus the new hyped word, coined to honor this mindset of Human prejudice where we humans believe to have moral rights so high so as to overlook the pain and suffering of non-human animals, and treat them in ways that slavery would need a new definition for itself.

It also amuses me, when I look around and see the arrogance, alter in the eyes of a human being  for another person against his or her complexion, against a particular religion or faith, for the LGBT community or even if it is a regular gender favoritism. If there is anything at all, the ‘world’ has always and would still choose to believe, is to look up-to a ‘MAN’irrespective of his credentials.  For me, as a woman it is sadly bleak to imagine the day when that pedestal will be equally shared by a ‘WOMAN’ in the very same regard, needless to say that this charity awaits to begins at home.

On the very other hand, there is an uprising strength of people from within us, who are trying tirelessly day in and day out to make the world a more humane place for a better tomorrow. It is historic for a an era like now, how environmentalists, protectors of animal and human rights have a struck a revolution for a better and much needed change.

People selflessly working at the animal shelters where hundreds of pets are dumped in or traded once the momentarily pleasure period is over, those of who among us are working in the war zones to protect and support the lives of the victims and so many more, who can selflessly open their hearts for a wounded soul, are typically the ones who reaffirm my faith in Humanity. It certainly must not be easy to constantly stand up against what is ethically unfair but it this capacity to empathize, that is certainly one of the supreme qualities that natures has bestowed upon us and had we known of it’s uninterrupted supply, I guess we would have never chosen to be otherwise.

So, after all the Moon and Mars landing expeditions, technological advancements, culinary achievements and the daily dose of luxury that we relish so casually, is everything so worthwhile when we are so much at a conflict with our very own selves and our fellow beings, humans and non-humans alike? What is the point of an extravagant degree when our very basic morals are at stake? And what is the tiniest drop of our contribution to create that ripple of change that the oceans await?

This world today, from my eyes, seems to be divided and united in halves. One that is hell-bent on destruction blinded by prejudicial illusions and the other half who is equally determined in bringing together the scattered pieces of  broken mankind, to shape a worthier tomorrow.

And in the end, all that my simple mindset can understand and observe is the reality that we as humans, have tremendous capacities to both unite and to destroy and by just choosing the right direction of will, we can be the creation we were meant to be.

 

 

Pic Courtesy for Feature image

My Green Obsession!

Okay! So finally I can declare myself as obsessed. But should I be proud of it or term it with its cousin syllable ~’crazy’, I really have no clue? All that I know is while I am in the middle of the particular activity, I am so engrossed that the world around me practically doesn’t exist but the latter effect of trying to do everything perfectly makes me feel funnily insane, not to mention the tiredness from the attempt of ‘perfect multitasking.’

This weekend I decided to devote my heart and soul to my patio garden now that the Texas Sun is finally on vacation mode. With my sickle, scissors, other garden tools and some potting soil, I was out to execute my agenda with a lot of thoughtful preparation.

I had some re-potting of plants as my plan, since now they had grown from being delicate babies, needing more room to spread their wings. That was a total ‘YAY’ as I can’t tell how vigorously if not patiently, I had been waiting for those first two tiny green leaves to sprout and it was going to be such a big responsibility to transfer them into new pots without much damage. If you had a chance to read about first experience and high priority concern with my Celosias, you would know what you are about to read right now. 🙂

So to start with, I had just begun with my hands getting dirty trying to level the first some layers of potting soil ready in the new container and I tell you, I did try it with a lot of enthusiasm. After carefully removing the newly blooming plants from their original baby cribs, I had to place them in their new homes and yes I was a little panicked worrying about not breaking even a millimeter of any of it.  Impractical thinking!

To start with, I had a total of 5 garlic plants for a rectangular plant tub and I was in the middle of the most insensible dilemma of how to put it at proportional distances. It had to be two each, on either side and one in the center. That was fairly fine but then the problem was with the center, finding that exact center between the two rows. 😐 I better not stress here anymore because in actuality, it really isn’t worth it.

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My thought provoking garlic planting 😉

After evaluated calculations when the ‘center’ was finally set, I had to let go off my stupidity about being articulate in the most inappropriate spot. It was now about leveling the topmost layer of the soil and I was in a mess again. You might want to know why? It is because I wanted that layer to be even and equal for all my garlic buds- not less and not more. “Really? What was I thinking?”. “It is soil and mud and its gardening for heaven’s sake”, is what I had to tell myself before I was about to completely loose it. Succeeding considerable satisfaction, I set the pot on the seemingly perfect sunny location and decided for no more unnecessary tampering and moved to the next agenda of sowing some coriander seeds.

I love the idea of freshly grown abundant cilantro and that was my motivation of up-cycling a round cookie dish for sowing some coriander seeds that would hopefully grow into the greens that I was anticipating for. 😀 And while doing so, I was struck with ‘passionate precision’ again and I then I did not know to feel excited or to feel a little out-of-mind this time.

Almost two hours later and after all the sowing, planting, re-potting and pruning, it was mess cleaning time. I will be honest, I was feeling a little weird thinking of the likelihood of being watched by my neighboring apartments as being officially termed as “obsessed”, I picked up the witch broom and the dust-picker and started cleaning up the loose soil that I had unwantedly scattered and put them back in the pots. This was the limit!

Later in the evening, all cleaned and sober, when I sat with my cup of tea narrating this whole obsession ordeal with my husband humorously , I was puzzled about my own-self. Was I actually turning obsessed or is it because there are certain other things that I am desperately waiting to turn out and with the slightest opportunity of a let out, I am tending to be a little nutty?

Well, I also won’t lie about feeling related to my inherited genes from my mom as a throwback bonus. No wonder she would take hours in our terrace garden during those quite afternoons hours. I now totally know what she used to be upto all the while. Nonetheless that garden always looked pretty, well taken care of and was ‘declared’her very own private let-out zone.

Yes, I do love my little patio space and my green members. Apart from the two of us, they are the closest living beings I have around me in this foreign land and in our apartment that has mostly just me during the weekdays. The green foliage and each bloom of a flower makes a part of my inside smiles and bloom and their basic needs make me feel needed apart from the daily household chores and other basic routines to be taken care of. They are the first thing that I see in the morning and so many other frequent times whenever I cross the patio door, just wanting to observe their every possible development. I just hope my obsession is healthy and worthy for what it is and not a glimpse of me turning irrationally loony.

P.S: All the pictures are from my little patio garden. I am so excited to share my first time and first hand gardening experience. 😀  ♥

 

 

 

 

India & The land of Gods’

This is indeed one popular phrase I  heard growing up in India and being a proud Indian. There is so much still unknown to me about the rich heritage and golden mythological past of my country that I surrender not to defend this idea. And it would be also wrong on my part if I completely dismissed this notion too. You may think I am biased. Well, we all are fond of our cultural, mythological and religious past and they have silently become a foundation for our beliefs and value system.

As kids while we are introduced to identify different forms of deities of God’s and Goddesses, we find that out of the millions mentioned in the reigious texts, more or less each one of them have their own symbolic animal pet, AKA -Vahans’. Some of the most popular godly forms like Shiva can be identified with two of his characteristic representatives – the snake around his neck and the bull by his side. While Parvati, his spouse and the lady who is all about power,  is portrayed as one who proudly rides on the back of a lion and some times even a tiger, therefore known as Sheravali (Sher-the big cat & vali- owner). Their mythological children- Lord Ganesha on the other hand represents wisdom via hard-work and he chose his animal as the rat, Karthikeya chose his favorite one as the majestic proud Peacock; Lakshmi, the goddess of wealth chose the wise Owl and Saraswati, the goddess of knowledge was given a Swan as her representing candidate. Goddess Kali, is also one of the most well known goddess worshiped across the whole of India and with a number of beliefs. Kali receives her name signifying time and also meaning dark.A Goddess whom I personally feel is so popularly misunderstood and publicized as being blood thirsty and being associated to the power for black magic.

I will certainly not be the perfect person to assess and proclaim that I understand all the philosophies in the name of my religion. What confuses me today is the disparity of what I learnt and what I see now!

Religion, sadly has become the softest target for any grieving or accomplished heart. When there is no end to ritualistic traditions in the marathon to please deities whom we address as our Gods’, there seems to be a path that misleads us, from what might have been the primary reason for bringing ‘religion’ into existence in the first place. Not only has it been about the convenience of the preachers, it has also converted us from being ‘believers’ into  fearfully blind followers. Today, there is anything and everything that can practically happen in the name of GOD.

Every year, crores of money are spent in creative idol making. From the tiniest one to the sky reaching ones, the limits are boundless and so are the celebrations. You spend your hard earned money, your deep vested prayers and solemn beliefs in your desired idolized form and in the next 15 days you may find the very same modest idols lying by the road sides, adjacent to the venue of celebration or near the river bank simply forgotten to be immersed. Witnessing such callousness in respect for ‘the once upon a time’ beautifully hand crafted and royally adorned Gods and Goddesses, now leaning against some old banyan tree in a half ripped stage, I feel is the complete reflection of most of the things prevalent in our society – Use and Throw.

In the recent couple of weeks, when there have articles and undercover investigations flooding over the media about how India is not only one but THE LARGEST market responsible for supplying cows legally and illegally traded to countries all over the world, the concept of treating cows as holy, one that belongs to God, or even considered as being a mother, seems so disgustingly hypocritical. Where does the theory of “the land of the God’s” vanish when the ‘holy cows’ are brutally culled for trade and meat, snakes blinded, goats slaughtered at the alter of Goddess Kali as rituals embarking sacrifices, tigers and lions poached and all the rest when the list goes endless? A particular God has a designated time for celebration and follows it is the speechless art of innocent animal torture being executed, in the name of it.

 A reality, where people who preach and proclaim religion in broad day light actively engage in the game of death by dusk forces me to think if this so-called religion has failed to teach about conscience or was it just the preparation of another shield to make an abundance of illicit wealth and defend the shades of derogated humanity ?  

I feel so disturbed today by the thought of the systems that have brought us nowhere but to a stage where we are compelled to question our own credentials. This tug-of-war, to choose to be one that humanity requires and one that is ruled by the definitive minds is nothing, but challenging. Some hear it and some of us don’t.Celebrations of any festivity now, seems to be appearing farce. After all, I am in a dilemma to choose between  what I learnt and what I am exposed to today. All I know is I may not be a doctorate to understand the nitty-gritty of religion, but surely I am sane and can use my judgement to understand that our belief system tagged with what we identify as God, needs no blood of its child of any kind and in any form,as a souvenir of sacrifice for the sake of wish fulfillments.

Pic source: Google
P.S: Apologies if any sentiments have been hurt but am helpless to comprehend what we are hurting instead.

Faith vs Fear

Interesting!

Last Friday, as out on one of our Friday dine out events at an American Dinerwe happened to be friends there with a lady aged with experience and insights and so much and more was just being casually discussed over a steaming cup of hot coffee getting cold. It is then, when out of the many things, she mentioned about FEAR and FAITH and defined FEAR as explicitly as a “False Evidence Appearing Real”. I couldn’t have agreed more. Yes, Faith and Fear do walk hand in hand and sometimes they do tend to appear as one.

Ever since then, I really haven’t been able to take it off my mind. It’s so true. Faith is what we have within ourselves and Fear is what we make or perceive of. Both Fear and Faith walk like controversial partners, hand in hand and in most circumstances they do go through an osmosis and in a blink of an eye, become one.

While Faith is the heart’s own child, Fear as I perceive is the child of the analytical mind. From all the hardships, struggles, pitfalls and deception that we come across in our social and materialistic living, Fear is born. And as we grow older, so does it grow with us in some form or another.

Fear brings in, the dark clouds of doubt in a package deal and persuades us never to leave the shore of comfort. It makes us question time and time again about our capabilities and wants us to surrender the weaker part of us until it’s objective is finally fulfilled.

But Faith, I guess on the other hand just makes us feel different and real. No matter what the world thinks of us or who we may want to portray ourselves as, Faith appears to be the candid mirror to all that talking that happens inside each one of us. It is Faith, that end of the day keeps us moving and forces us to push open the shut or the rusted gates locked by Fear.

tomAs I have been pondering over this for the past couple of days,I can now relate and make complete sense to the devil and angel sitting on the shoulders of our favorite cartoon characters, driving them insane to make the right call and choose the path that is less traveled than usual.

It is weird, how as a child, things that we so casually picked up and learnt, fade away and seem to be lost while we aim and aspire to be a member of this the ‘civilized and advanced’ world of the grown ups.

At each stage, both Fear and Faith have been the toughest challenges to be fought in their own ways, just that the innocent and untainted hearts of a child always saw Faith and lived merrily as ever and the one now living in the shell of a grown up is entrusted with the job of assessing Fear more than it can actually handle.

And recently, as I have been deciphering many angles of my goals vis-a vis my comfort zones crowded with the constant chatter inside my head, this very break up of the word, ‘FEAR ~ False Evidence Appearing Real’ brings in a ray of some needed hope. It compels me to realize that had it not been for this competition of Fear or Faith that only the persistent caterpillars and not all, could break their cocoon in splendid colors of a butterfly and woo the world, the bold sunflowers that gaze right into the eye of the blazing Sun and bloom carelessly, the first Human and so many more who followed the footprints thereafter, to ever dare to climb the unattainable peaks of the Himalayas and also for those who believed to discover the world that exists beyond the merely vast circumference of the Earth and eventually were rewarded with a different perspective of the horizon. 

 

P.S: Do you feel the same conflict of Fear and Faith within you? I would be curious and inspired to know your story and how you decide to choose, in the comments below 🙂

Pic Source: Fear & the Web

Gifted by the Divine

Believed to have appeared from the left side of Lord Shiva, Goddess Durga or Parvati attains her ninth embodiment in the form of “Siddhidatri”, meaning the giver of supernatural powers.  On the 9th and final day of the Navrati festival, the “Siddhidatri” form of the Goddess is worshiped in full spirit and enthusiasm.

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Being the one, who grants the ultimate wish of acquiring intuition, farsightedness, spiritual direction and likewise supernatural powers, Goddess Siddhidatri is worshiped by all gods, saints and demons across the heaven, earth and hell, with much devotion.

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siddhidratriThe “Siddhidatri” incarnation has four hands and is seen seated on a lotus or Her lion. With her peaceful and loving expressions, she holds a discus, a conch shell, a trident and a mace and blesses her devotees with spiritual enrichment.

After nine days of strict disciplinary lifestyle, fasting that majorly includes fruits as a primary diet, chanting the holy mantras  and meditation for most others, the Ninth day is the rewarding day with the gift of self realization and the much needed connection with the inner self.

Following the regime of the worship, rituals and fasting, the 9th day of Navratri, marks the moment of rejoice and cultures across the Nation, have their own signature style for celebrating this moment.

Scattered Hindus all over the world dance to the tune of the colorful “Garba dance” with vibrant colored sticks as the prime prop, celebrating the ninth day of the holy Navratri. Predominantly, celebrated in the  Northern & Western Indian states , the “Dandiya” or the “Garba” is a much popular and globalized festive dance and it is hard to resist the rhythm that it sets in your body.

For the Eastern India, and for the Bengalis who are crazy and overjoyed to celebrate the Navratri in the form of Durga Puja, it is their traditional “Dhunuchi Dance” holding an earthen pot with burning aromatic camphor and dried outer shells of coconut, done in the praise of the Mother Goddess.

For the Southern India, it is  “Bathukamma” where women dressed in traditional attires and jewelry, decorate bountiful and colorful seasonal flowers with medicinal powers, are piled in the shape of a temple and is dedicated to the Mother Goddess, inviting Her and praising Her as the life-giver and the goddess of Motherhood.

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With all the rejoice, festive spirit, awaited rituals and course of worship, the Navratri comes to a glorious end with “Goddess Siddhidhatri” on this 9th day of the festival.

However it is only the grandeur that comes to an end today, otherwise the entire stretch of these nine days are gentle reminder for all of us, to sit back from the usual run of regular chores and reconnect ourselves with the sweet change of the season as autumn sets in the stage of transition from the harsh summers to the cooler winters. It is also the dire need for the mind to breathe and rejuvenate, the time when migrated members of a family come back home to celebrate the festive spirit, the excitement of new clothes and an enjoyable break from the regular food.

Nevertheless, keeping rituals and ceremonial practices aside, it does reminds us the need for discipline not only in terms of clean eating but also clean thinking – one that sets the mind, body and soul to a detox or a purifying mode, enough to last another tough year until the “Sharad Navratri” arrives again.♥

   ♥ “Shubha Navratri” ♥

 

 

P.S: As adorable as the significance of  “Goddess Siddhidatri”, is this pleasing feature image of the Mother Goddess done by Suchita. Thanks you so much. 🙂

Others: Web

 

The Mystery of the Dark

Day 7 of Navratri ~ “Goddess Kaalratri”

One of the fiercest from of Goddess Durga is her “Kaalratri” form. Her dark complexion, bountiful hair, a shining necklace and four hands -two left hands holding a torch and a cleaver and the other two right hands, in postures of blessing and protecting, riding on the back of a donkey, is her characteristic appearance. Worshiped on the seventh day of the Navratri– the Hindu festival that celebrates Mother Goddess in her nine forms over these 9 nights and 10 days.

After the warrior form of “Katyayani”, “Kaalratri” is yet another fearless form of the Hindu Goddess. Not to misjudge or misinterpret her intense and dark appearance, this avatar of the Hindu Deity, embodies this image to destroy all demon entities, negative energies and unholy spirits.

In her this Kaalratri form, Goddess Parvati/Durga is said to have defeated the demons named Shumbha and Nishumbha, riding a powerful donkey.

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Her this darkness is symbolic of “Time”, meaning “kaal” and also meaning black, acknowledging it being created long before light itself. This dark or black complexion also signifies Her as the destroyer of ignorance and helps her devotees attain salvation by freeing them from the oblivion of the cycle of birth and death. Also many Hindus claim to believe that, for the welfare of the creation and her children, the Mother Goddess had absorbed into Her, all ignorance, negativity and sorrows that turned her complexion black.

Irrespective of her intense appearance, she always bears blessings and good luck for the welfare of her devotees and her children while removing the darkness of fear and worry from their lives.

In other words, She is just like any mother, who acquires yet another form to combat the darkness of fear, worries and ignorance from the life of her beloved children. Although she embodies an angry or even in some cases a blood thirsty image, there is no way that can interfere with the absolute reason and intention of her love and well-being for her children.

” May this Navratri, eradicate darkness in all forms, from our lives.”

♥ Happy Navratri ♥

P.S: This feature image is an extremely loving portrayal in contrast to the conventional angry image of “Goddess Kaalratri”. Thank you Suchita for letting me feature your illustration in my blog.

Other pic source: The web

 

The Warrior Princess

Day 6 of Navrarti – “Katyayani Devi”

It is on the 6th day of the Navratri festival – the grand celebration of the evolution of the Hindu Goddess Durga, when the worship of “Goddess Katyayani”is observed.

According to legends, She was born to a saint called Katyayana and thus was derived her name. The “Katyayani” form of the Goddess Durga, marks her personality as the fearless warrior and is depicted with a variety of swords and weapons to slay the evil.

hm56As per the Hindu Mythology, when the gods and saints were distressed and tormented by the demon “Mahisasura”, they made an appeal to the Super Gods for some respite. The audacity of “Mahisahura” had become so profound, that it enraged the patience of the Gods. The fury of Brahma(the creator), Vishnu(the preserver), Shiva (the destroyer) and of other godly spirits, erupted such dense flames from their eyes, that it is believed to have formed a mountain of radiance. It is from this light, said to be equivalent to the brightness of 1000 suns, that the true spirit and purpose of this avatar of Goddess Durga, as “Katyayani” was evolved.

Prior to creating this unrest, Mahisasura, on the other hand, through his devotion and thousand of years of meditation, had won the hearts of the Gods and had his wish, never to be destroyed or killed by any man, granted. This grant of wish had filled Mahisasura , with so much pride and arrogance that

Blinded by pride, the demon had created a rampage of destruction and an endless series of assault on the weak and the innocent. Troubled by this prolonged menace, it was then that sufferers had to make a plea to the Holy Spirits to seek rescue and resolve and the Gods’ then realized the blunder, they had done by granting Mahisasura, his wish to be indestructible.

The only way left then, was him being defeated not by a man but by a woman. This need of the hour, led to creation of the Goddess Durga /Adishakti (the supreme power/being)/ Mahashakti (one with Immense Power) or simply , Shakti (beholder of power) and this avatar of the goddess warrior also came to be known as Goddess Katyayani.

goddess-durga-da21_lRising from the flames of fury, Goddess Durga emerged with three eyes, black hair and ten hands. Shiva gifted her the trident, Vishnu gave Her the discus, Brahma gave a rosemary, a water pot a sheild and a sword, Varuna (the Hindu God of the water & ocean) gave shankha or the conch shell, Agni (Hindu God of Fire) gave a dart, Vayu (the Hindu God of the winds) bestowed Her with a bow, Surya (the Sun God) an assortment of arrows, Indra(God of the Rains) – a thunderbolt, Kuvera (the lord of wealth) gifted her with the Gada or the mace, and Visvakarma (the lord of the community of metal smiths, gold smiths & carpenters) granted Her with a battle-axe and other necessary weapons needed to slay the demon.

Adorned by the Holy Gods’, Goddess Katyayni was now all set, armored and enhanced with weapons and accessories, bravely riding on the back of her Lion vehicle, ready for her quest to start war and kill the demon Mahisasura.

This is how, the purpose of the birth of “Goddess Katyayani”~ the warrior princess was solely to defeat the demon, “Mahisasura”. On this 6th day of the nine nights and 10 days of the Navratri festival, Hinduism praises and worships the Mother Goddess of Power , to have acquired the warrior embodiment to save the world from evil and let the power of Truth and Virtue always prevail.

“Shubha Navratri”

Feature Image Source: An amazing artist, illustrator and my friend Suchita
Other: From the web

You are my world!

Day 5 of Navratri ~ “Skandamata”

“Skandamata” is the fifth avatar of Goddess Durga being celebrated during the rejoice of Her nine nights of valor and love, in the form of Navratri. Evolving from the stages of Shailaputri (as a daughter), Brahmacharini (as a student, lover & worshiper), Chandraghanta (as a wife), Kushmanda (the creator), She is now a Mother – “Skandamata”.

This name is extracted from the name of her son, “Karthikeya”- also known as “Skanda” and “Mata” meaning mother, thereby addressing her as Karthikeya’s beloved mother.

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The Skandamata avatar of the Goddess, radiates the universal adoration of a mother for her son/child. It demonstrates the bonding and love between Her (now as a mother) and Her Son, Karthikeya or Skanda, who comfortably sits on her lap, cherishing the priceless moments of His mother’s benevolence.

Depicted with four hands, the Skandamata carries lotus flowers in her two hands, holds her son on her lap with one and the fourth hand remains in a blessing mudra or posture and as a sign of protection to her devotees, against all hardships and danger. Even here, She bravely rides a lion, as her vehicle and is praised for her valor and strength. Some texts also portray Her, as seated on a lotus flower and likewise, also refers Her as Goddess Padmasana (Padma- lotus & Asana- being seated).

Being rejoiced and celebrated in the spirit of Motherhood, Goddess Skandamata, is not seen carrying any weapons in Her this avatar,but lotus flowers instead that exhibits her tenderness as a mother. Although, her riding on the back of a lion is symbolic of her bravery and courage, but the love that emits as she protectively holds her first son on her lap, is  extremely compassionate and delicately reveals or declares the undisputed affection and love every mother shares with her child.

P.S: Would you agree any less with me if I’d mention of the unspoken joy and excitement that a child can only enjoy with his or her mother? I simply adore “Master Karthikeya” holding a lollipop and being exhilarated in His mother’s company. Thank you, for the feature image Suchita. ♥

 Other Pic Source: Web

A Smile for the Universe

Day 4 of Navratri ~ “Kushmanda”

The 4th day of the Navratri (the worship of power for 9 holy nights), praises the “Kushmanda” form ,of the Hindu Goddess Durga.

This name of “Kushmanda” is explained in scriptures and vedic texts as- ‘Ku’ meaning a little, ‘ushma’ meaning warmth or energy and ‘anda’ referring to as the cosmic egg.

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It is believed that, when the universe was non-existent and was all sheathed under darkness, the avatar of Goddess Durga as “Kushmanda”, produced the “Cosmic Egg”  with her benevolent smile. Interestingly, She was so powerful and radiant that she resided in the core of the Sun, to provide it with enough light and energy and likewise the ‘Universe’ was thus born. It is from this section of the Hindu Mythology, that states the Sun God, being governed by Her.

In all sorts of depiction, Goddess Kushmanda is portrayed as radiant, glowing and luminous as ever. Even here, like her previous form of the “Chandraghanta“, She holds a discus, a sword, a hook, mace, bow- arrow and two jars of honey and blood and  rides on a tiger or a lion as her own personal brave vehicle.

The “Kushmanda” form of the Goddess is also addressed as “Ashtabhuja”– meaning one with eight hands and is symbolized as the source of direction, power and universal creation.

As per Hinduism, it is also at this stage, where the Goddess reveals or splits herself  into three significant forms – Goddess Lakshmi (symbolizing wealth), Goddess Saraswati (symbolizing knowledge & wisdom) and Goddess Kali (the slayer of evil).

Also, making complete sense and correlation to the Fall Festival, the bright orange Pumpkin has been referred to as being her favorite fruit. Ever since then, it is with sincere traditions, that a pumpkin has been being offered to please Her, during the course of the ritualistic worship. 🙂

Well, here it makes me say that, there is a little bit of the Halloween and a bit of the Navratri, spread all across the globe, making us feel yet more connected. ♥

“Shubha (Happy) Navratri”

P.S: Adorable as it could be, this feature image is a really cute depiction of the “Kushmanda” form of the Goddess, by my friend/artist/illustrator~ Suchita

Other Pic Source: Web

The Invoke of the Moon-Bell

Day 3 of Navratri ~ “Chandraghanta” 

This form of Goddess Durga is worshiped  on the third day of the “Navratri”- the grand ceremony of worshiping the Goddess and the victory of good over evil, for 9 nights and 10 days.

The “Chandraghanta” – meaning one who has the half moon shaped like a bell, is the avatar that the Goddess joyously took over when her beloved Lord Shiva agreed to marry Her. It is recognized as the married ‘roop’ (appearance) of Goddess Parvati. The significance of  bearing the  half crescent moon of her forehead is also symbolic of her acceptance and willingness to be one with her Husband, Lord Shiva, who also bears a half moon on His forehead himself. But there is a little bit more to Her this avatar.

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Not only is this form, one of Her most beautiful avatars, with her glowing golden aura and bright and adorned costume after her marriage with Lord Shiva, it also symbolic of the exhibition of bravery and courage with a serene composure.

She is believed to be depicted with eight hands, holding the Trishul (Trident), lotus flower, bow-arrow, bell or the conch shell in her four left hands and with a Sudharshan Chakra (a spinning disk like weapon), a sword, gada (mace) in her three right hands, with one hand in a blessing posture. This blessing posture of the hand, in some scripts also connotes as an obstruction to all hardships or evil, in order to protect her devotees. 

The most interesting part of this composition, is a lion or a tiger being her vehicle. This depicts the Mother’s courage and valor and her war like preparation coupled with Her serene composure signifying that if provoked, She could be a tough warrior in action.

No wonder, Hinduism considers this embodiment of the Goddess to that of a Mother, who can always have her serenity be taken over by her bravery, just to protect her children.

In Hinduism & its religious practices, the conch shells have a great significance. The sound produced from a conch shell by blowing at its circular end, expels an auspicious echo believed to get rid of evil and negative energies. This is the primary reason for a conch shell to be blown during every Hindu religious ritual. 

Appropriately, this avatar of Goddess Durga in the form of “Chandra-ghanta” (moon-bell) ascertains her serenity and promises the welfare for her children, whereas it’s resemblance to the shape of a bell is a metaphoric reason citing, that it’s ringing would simply get rid off all negative energies and spirits from our lives. Therefore owing respect and seeking for protection of the mind and the soul, the worship of the “Chandraghanta” is spiritually and ritualistically observed on this day of “Navratri”.

P.S:  This feature image, is an absolutely adorable illustration done by my artistic friend Suchita. This a wonderful way to picture Mother Goddess through the innocent eyes of a child, no matter how old we all become.🙂

Other Pic Source: Google

The Daughter of the Himalayas

Day 1 Of Navratri ~ “Shailaputri”

The advent of the Autumnal or the “Sharad Navratri” has begun. Though “Navratri”, the worship of the Lady Goddess of Power, “Durga” is religiously celebrated 5 times around the year at different settings, the “Sharad Navratri” that makes the whole of India and Hindus all over the world, set into this crazy festive spirit, is being observed now.

“Navratri”, signifies the devoted worship and celebration of good over evil over these nine (nav) nights(ratri) and 10 days. Each day carries its own engrossing story and I am sure there must be so many versions to it too. Well, this is what I love most about Indian festivals – there are so many untold, unheard and engaging versions and twists to mythological chapters with a deep meaning to each one of them, that one can sit for multiple sessions by narrative grand-moms and yet never be bored.

What inspires me to love the extravagance of this “Navratri” is not the childhood memories, new clothes, cultural dance recitals or splendid food festival alone but the feeling of women power being at its peak. For a universal society where women are considered a weaker sex, Goddess Durga exhibits power and love through all her forms during these 9 significantly glorious days.

maa-shailputri1Day 1 of Navratri is dedicated to Her first form as “Shailaputri”. In Sanskrit, “Shailaputri” means the daughter of the mountains- Shail (mountain) & Putri (daughter). This depiction of the Goddess is the absolute form of representing Mother Nature. Being the first form of power, “Durga” as created by the Brahma (Creator), the Vishnu( Preserver) & the Shiva ( Destroyer), She rides a bull with a lotus in one hand and a trident in another, adorned with a delicate crescent moon on her forehead.

Spiritually and in the Yogic world, Her form of “Shailaputri”, being the Goddess of the root chakra, typically emphasizes on the connection to the self and on the upward journey of the soul from the core or root, to be focused to rise above one’s own self.         It is believed, for those who meditate, these 9 days are an absolute tool for self purification and discovery to one’s own true self, hence making so much more sense to the clean eating and devoting to a disciplined life course of routine.

“Durga” in Her first form as “Shailaputri” is a beautiful manifestation of mother nature encompassing the whole creation of nature, including the hills, valleys, rivers, oceans, forests and resources and through her significance with the root or the muladhar chakra, makes one remember that a part of the Universe  always exists in each one of us. Isn’t that thought so wonderful! ♥

On this note, I wish we all be gifted with more endurance, courage and faith within ourselves.

“Happy Navratri” everyone!

P.S: I would love to send out some appreciation to my friend for making such a lively expression of Goddess “Shailaputri” through her artwork ,that I made me so inspired to feature in this blog. To me, this is  a wonderful expression to see our Godly Mother, through the eyes of a child that stays in us forever. I am sure you would love to see more work of my artistic friend- Suchita, here.

 

The Pursuer of Love

Day 2 Of Navratri ~ “Bramacharini”

“Bramacharini” or the Goddess of Penance, defining the one whose goal to discover self existence and the Absolute Reality, is the second avatar of Goddess Durga. This form is worshiped on the second of the “Maha Navratri” (grandeur of the 9 nights and 10 days).

Although, there is a spiritual context to this avatar of the Lady Goddess, there is also a very sweet motivation of love that drives Her to acquire this embodiment, recognized with simple white clothes, holding a “japa mala” (a rosemary) in her right hand and a “kamandal” (water jug) in her left hand.

It is believed that Goddess Durga or Parvati was so intensely in love with Lord Shiva, that She would never settle for anything else other than being His wife. But her parents, on the other hand, never approved or encouraged her thoughts, since Shiva himself was a Yogi, bereft of all materialistic pleasures. Like every other concerned parent, the King Daksha Prajapati & his Queen, desired for all luxuries and comforts for their only beloved daughter. However, Goddess Parvati was so hell bent and immersed in Her love for Lord Shiva, that no extensive counselling was of any use to her.

the-goddess-of-penanceSo one fine day, she sets off for Her journey, giving up all her royal comforts to prove herself worthy of Lord Shiva’s love. Legends narrate, that Goddess Parvati put herself through the most unbelievable by meditating for around 5000 years and gradually renouncing all food and water. She also chose to lead a life of hardship by  sleeping on the bare and discomforting forest beds, just to prove Herself worthy of Lord Shiva’s love.

Lord Shiva on the other hand, whose sole purpose in life was to saturate himself in deep meditation and choose never to be married, was in a dilemma knowing of the sacrifices Goddess Parvati was making for him. In the quest to discourage Her, Lord Shiva finally decided to meet Her in disguise, just to frighten and restrain Her ideas again by portraying a very low and dull image of the man, Parvati was so firm on marrying.

But such was the strength and belief in Her love for Lord Shiva, and the desire to be His better half was so profound, that following the Royal Parents, even Lord Shiva failed to deviate her mission and eventually fell in love with this avatar (roop) of “Brahmacharini”, that Goddess Parvati had obtained for the sake of Her Love.

This sweet little legend of the love between the most popular couple in the Hindu Mythology, is a fantastic narration that inspires us to have passion for what we believe in, no matter how it may appear to rest of the world. The hardships mentioned in the legend, are symbolic and even metaphoric to some extent if i may say so, just to inspire us to beat all odds, irrespective of every luxurious comforts required to be left behind, for the Pursuit of Love.

“Happy Navratri” everyone!♥

P.S: I would love to send out some appreciation to my friend for this lovely artwork, dedicating to Goddess avatar “Brahmachirni” ,that inspired to feature in this blog.  A smiling face and bright colors is a wonderful way to picture Mother Goddess, and keep alive the child in us forever. I am sure you would love to see more work of my artistic friend- Suchita, here. 🙂

Pic Source: Web

Mahalaya- An Invitation to Goddess Durga

When the craze for Autumn Fest has just begun across parts of this diverse world, it is also the beginning of the Festive Fever in India and for Indians all over , staring this 30th Sept. Yay! 🙂

It is ‘Mahalaya’ today and it is about invoking Mother Goddess Durga,the ‘Goddess of power’ from Heaven to Earth, just seven days before the festival of “Durga Puja” is geared to begin in full swing. India celebrates the power of the lady goddess in different forms across different times all over the country, but with the onset of Fall, trailing mythological stories of the demon ‘Mahisasura’ being defeated by the woman- ‘Goddess Durga’, brings to life the journey of glitz and glamour of the Indian festive fever.

 

For over 6 decades, today is the day that Bengalis (and also people associated with Bengalis) so excitedly anticipate for. The dip in the temperatures with a sweet cold breeze, the delicate winds infused with the intoxicating smell of the scheduled blooms of  the Coral Jasmine – popularly called as “Shuili Phool” choriye_thaka_shiuli_%e0%a6%9b%e0%a6%a1%e0%a6%bc%e0%a6%bf%e0%a6%af%e0%a6%bc%e0%a7%87_%e0%a6%a5%e0%a6%be%e0%a6%95%e0%a6%be_%e0%a6%b6%e0%a6%bf%e0%a6%89%e0%a6%b2%e0%a6%bf and the Catkins known as “Kaash Phool” in Bengali, a beautiful native grass of the Indian Subcontinent, daintily blowing along with the sweet autumnal winds, are such an absolute strong reminder and a joyous boost to the excitement that “Pujo” is finally here again.

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The specialty of this day is about the enthusiasm it brings in every Bengali, no matter where you are and if you are one, I am sure you would admit that expressing this through words is just never enough. The last minute house cleaning & shopping sprees, the dogged hard work for creatively thought-through temporary shrines or “pandals” being setup every 5-10 kilometers, series of lip-smacking street food stalls under preparation & over- flowing shoppers hovering around the market places is nothing but a very common sight to witness for any kid growing up in India.

The preparation for “Mahalaya” starts with every charged-up household, setting their alarm clocks and just as the clock strikes 4, in the cool pre-dawn hours, it is indeed the wake up call for the whole of  Bengal, major parts of Eastern India and  for Bengalis who reside elsewhere in the country,that rises unanimously,to immerse themselves by tuning into the radio or playing records of the ritualistic and holy Bengali Chanting of “Mahisasura Mardini”a legendary recitation, narrating the victory of Goddess Durga slaying the Demon (Asura), by the memorable Late Birendra Krishna Bhadra.

I still do remember the younger version of myself, being pulled out of bed with all excitement by mother and with rubbing eyes and the craving to sleep some more. I would sit with her, in the most silent hours of this special peaceful morning, listening to the almost, 2 hour of soul stirring holy recitation – a narration that so fabulously invites the goddess, “Mother Durga” to her home on Earth.  Typically what followed was the mythological and dramatic story depiction of the victory of good over evil on Doordarshan– India’s National Television Channel and even after all these years, this routine has been blessed to not see any drastic change.

As years passed, and the popularity of this ecstatic joy kept spreading like wildfire beyond the states of Bengal, the recitation for “Mahalaya” started being broadcast in several other languages, making  “Durga Puja” not a regional but a national festival.

In the interiors of Kolkata-West Bengal, Kumartuli is the den of artisans and sculptors who relentlessly put in sleepless months of labor, passion, love and devotion in molding clay from the banks of the Ganges, to build the most stunning traditional and contemporary deities of the powerful Goddess Durga.  It is during these months starting from August through October – the preparatory months of sculpting,  that Kumartuli and other small artisan hubs across the country, becomes every photographers dream aspiring to capture some awe-inspiring glimpses, of the traditionally handed-over rich art of craftsmanship that is being carried forward over the generations.

ljzlc1haddfsiIn these modest capacities of the artisans is a rejoice of a different kind. The pre-dawn\p the spiritual sparkle to their life-sized creations through their artistic brush strokes, as the third eye (the spiritually eye) is brought to existence drawn in the center of the forehead of the angelic Deity. The holy conch shells are blown at this radiant moment, delightfully and humbly inviting “Mother Goddess” to transcend to Earth and abolish evil in all forms.

On the other hand of coinciding this exuberance, the holy Ganges and the rivers across India also witnesses, a swarm of thousands of people paying homage of food, flowers and peace to their ancestors, being observed as the “Pitru Paksha”, an important Hindu ritual to pacify the souls of the beloved deceased. Observed on this specific lunar day, “Mahalaya” also carries the significance of salvation partnering with the kick start of the festive fervor.

 

No matter how the mythological, cultural or traditional stories may trail and trickle down, it is in these little intricate moments of simple joys and heart-warming festive celebrations, that the “Autumn Festival” or the “Sharad Utsav” is so significantly dear and holds an unique place for every child, adult or aged,in Festive India.

“Happy Mahalaya” to all my fellow bloggers & friends. 🙂

Pic Source: Google

 

 

Welcome Fall

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That time of the year arrives again. Dried, crisp and rustic leaves begin to float in the air and like a surprise, the harshness of the summer sun begins to fade. The devoted mercury in the thermometers can now anticipate some sigh of relief from their routine rise and the transition is yet again a story of rejoice.

Huge and bright orange pumpkins flood the market and wait to be playfully carved.  Stores are pepped in symbolic fall shades of yellow, orange and brown and stunningly happy garden  and outdoor decors, themed clothing and spiced -sweet treats, marking the celebration of the long awaited shift in season.

No matter, how Fall typically begins with dried leaves, carelessly scattered all over, it brings with itself no dejection of its own. Even though drifted,nature here has its own hues and differently vibrant shades patenting the fact that every single change is significant with its own essential identity. It is undeniably on us, to see to it as an end or a point where a new beginning  eager awaits to step in.

And on this note, I love this quote from the archive of Rabrindranath Tagore put so simply ~ “Let Life be Beautiful like Summer Flowers and Death as Beautiful as Autumn Leaves. “

Happy First Day of Fall to all my blogger friends. ♥

Pic Courtesy: https://unsplash.com/search/fall?photo=O6N9RV2rzX8

Soar ~like never before

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As tiny as this little fellow could be, did a Hummingbird ever know how much the world awes him? I guess not. It never needed to know what was the world around it, was thinking.

All it did was, relentlessly flapped it’s incredible tiny wings to and fro, kept itself above the ground, intrigued to find it’s potion of nectar and illustrate what we most commonly overlook.

It is indeed not about who we are or where our journey began from. Neither is it about the mighty or the fragile. It is about the spark, the flare of determination that keeps us going, irrespective of what pulls us back, who stands by and who doesn’t until we reach the ‘nectar’ of our purpose and the less believing world, stands in bewilderment.

Pic Courtesy:https://unsplash.com/search/hummingbird?photo=ozwiCDVCeiw

 

‘Re-discovered’ along the Trails

18th September 2016; and I feel the breeze of a Sunday evening on my face, just as if it was for the first time in ages and indeed, it was.

In the quest to chase boredom, temporary failed attempts for desired outcomes in most areas of my perceived aspirations of ambitious living, I landed up entertained with a couple of engagements.

I, at no cost wanted to become the ’empty vessel’ auditioning through an amplifier. So, I started following some of my creative passions, digesting the bitter pill that in no sooner time, would that give me a paycheck end of the month but hopefully would fill me with a dose of contentment.

From here began the vigor and the constant inner push to write and vent through my blogs, discover the happy side of being a vegan foodie, work on creating prints- doodling, relevant and irrelevant ones, DIY recycle crafts to deck up our new apartment where we just moved in 4 months ago and watching the walking trail that is so lush green and faces the patio of our modest nest.

Apart from the patio, my work desk and my bedroom too, are the ideal windshields to this walking trail, where neighbors of the community and adjacent residency go out for scheduled fitness runs & geared up bicycle rides, chit-chatting friends who brisk walk and burn calories, new mommy’s sweating it out with their baby’s in the stroller, young school folks confidently sweeping in and out on their skateboards and what gets most attractive to me, are the single dwellers or devoted couples who are out walking their four legged furry friends.

If anything in this crowd and apart from my flowers dancing along the tune of the peaceful morning breeze, makes me smile and drool, is watching the adorable pooches and their amazing human parents.

Amidst all this and all my planned modes of creative and constructive diversions, began the probe to want a four legged companion for myself. With such willful imagination, I almost started living with a pooch, marveling at the change of events that it could promise in my lonesome hours, and then it was time to ‘Google’.

I encouraged my husband, took him into confidence with much less choice left open to him, and we began the expedition to adopt our first baby- our first doggy member.                       We Browsed and researched through adorable dogs, filled in application forms in almost all the nearby shelters and patiently waited to hear that a match had been found – somewhat like the matrimony sites that run the marathon of matchmaking crafts in India. 

After a month of wait, “I finally have a happy email in my inbox. We have an appointment with a furry guy called Wrinklet (yeah little out-of -the box name for a guy, but who cares when the guy in question is so adorable).”                                                                                           An unexpected 45 minute drive, a 15 minute mad hunt around the adoption event venue and hopeless upsurge of emotion of not being able to spot the event on time, was the priceless premium to meet Wrinklet – the smiling doggy in white. Mellowed and calm, he came close to sniff us and as we bent over to pat him and exchanged our first glance of mutual interaction, it all went with an ‘Awwwwwee’ ♥

The next morning, was that very morning from my imagination. A trial adoption was about to begin and a pooch was about to cross the threshold of our condo and I had hopes up in the sky. The trial was to last for 5 days and it was time to assess if we both could match and cope up with each other’s life style. Knowing us, as in me and my husband, I wasn’t really sure who had to cope up more, as facts unfolded dogs being manufactured to be playful and active and for us well, the recliners and bed explains it pretty much all.

But after all that research and pepped up hopes, I wasn’t going to really let the comforts pull me down. Finally the snoozing session with my smartphone alarms were resolved and morning walks began. Soon, I was one among the crowd, in the green lush walking trails, that I always watched from the blue camp chair in my cozy patio. People and dog greetings seeped in as an unsaid routine and lonesome boredom began to better tackled. I was now a prospective proud pet parent and in a long time, this was making me happy from within.

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Wrinklet never seemed to have responded to his name, so we tried with an even cooler title and named him Rex. Sharp and alert black and white ears (literally) , pinky eyes with white lashes, soft white coat and a look that melts your heart like chocolate in a fondue pot, he is a handsome combination of an Australian Cattle Dog and a Terrier. Oh and did I forget- he is one hyper active fellow ! Nonetheless, he is a top rated charmer and everything around both of us had just started turning afresh.

Time flew and 5 days passed in a snap of a finger. It was the Sunday of the following weekend since Rex joined us and we were preparing to venture the trails for our routine evening walks. It was comparatively late than our usual schedule and there were hardly other companions that evening on that trail. Rex and I indisputably had the trails to us and we walked it down like two old pals having so much to catch up.

Hardly can I assess, what struck in me after those first 15 minutes of our personal stroll, and just to keep pace with my excited mutt, I happened to set aside my fears and gather some courage to match mine with his. And I began to jog intermittently. After 21 long years, four corrective spinal surgeries, bedridden months, years of rehab and majorly lost confidence when it came to physical strength, I felt the stir in my feet. Rex’s leash in my hand, his excitedly wagging tail and the assuring look into my eyes, converted my yearning into a boost that just managed to pump some forgotten motion in my feet.

The breeze that then blew on my face, from that very moment, on the evening of 18th September 2016, was such a long awaited reward and the confidence my new companion evoked in me just got ‘Priceless’!

Pic Source: https://unsplash.com/@gallarotti

 

Behind Limitations

Pic Source: https://unsplash.com/@leeroy

As I logged into my computer this morning and opened the browser in search for new things that would interest me and divert my mind from my seemingly ‘high aspirations’ to find my way back through my career, I came across this picture and it startled me.

I cannot explain well enough what caught more of my attention- the bright colored window or the tarred creepers that interrupted the windows from opening. It makes me wonder how these delicate, now dried wreaths, might have looked when they were young, bright and were promising  to some of the most fantastic views out of these sunny wooden wings. I may too guess (in my imagination), that there ought to be some very mixed moments caught up in there, behind those closed and transformed mysterious shutters.

Well, if you ask me or say, if I may question my imagery, I do see a young kid jumping by the widow in curiosity of what might be on the other side, a young lad or a lady who stands by the sunrise preparing for a challenging tomorrow and by the moonlight nights, wish for the soulful love. An agile body that copes each day with a heart that has yet learnt so much over the years and yet is indecisive and baffled by the purpose of life and all that it longs for, is a sigh and a chance to ‘re-begin’ for things that might have got lost in the chase of mere accomplishments.

And now, it is closed. The bricks have  begun to worn out and the vines have transformed into nothing but weeds and a story inside might have either stayed accomplished or remained as simply half done.

I am certain, that we all might have been right there at some point or the other,composed with dreams, hopes, anxiety and in leisure. But is it possible that the once appearing circlet of cheerful fragrant blossoms have now transfigured into a trap of unavoidable weeds? Can our very own merry-land of comfort zones convert into our highest limitations and eventually lead to a shut down?

May be, ‘yes‘.

It isn’t easy to be a run of the mill and even harder it is to be one, that is even remotely different from what the mill has to offer. In short, no chase is an easy chase because the window always makes us want more of what we already have. But while we settle down just admiring the cherry blossoms of the hour, we effortlessly overlook the process of transformation, the need to contemplate and to reinvent the little sparks within, thirstily waiting to shine and leaving behind of what were once only Limitations.

 

 

The Transplant Shock

I never had known before that I had inherited the gardening gene from my mother along with the passion of baking. But now that I have, I am having some hands-on experience with the exciting part of botany which seemed quite boring when I read it in school.

For the past few months, I have a new attraction and that too a good one – plants and learning the art of gardening. Not only has it come in as a new activity while I have been trying to settle down in all materialistic ways and in sanity, in a new country, but it feels like having some company too, once my husband leaves for his work.

Potting them, fertilizing the soil, pruning and watering my plants are a new addition to a ‘responsible living’ for me. ♥  If one could watch me over a hidden CCTV footage, I could easily be called obsessed. At least that is what my concerned better half tells me and I take it more like a compliment owing to the fever of the ‘responsible living’.

Not only am I restricted to plants that I shop from the nursery, I am on a spree of saving seeds from whatever vegetable is on my chopping board and doing a quick research on gardening tips on the internet unless I am saturated with all the information. But, the bottom line is I have been doing fairly well so far in spite of boring my mother, aunt (my green thumb women) and of course my husband with daily plant bulletins and in converting my patio and kitchen window sill into a botanical experiment lab. Eventually its all about pleasing the little kid inside us, right? And so shall it be.

In all this excitement, arrives a new plant to my garden. Bright and colorful and I could not even wait a night to position it in a bigger pot. My excitement was brimming on top of my head and the next morning I woke up snoozing the alarm a fewer times than usual. Gathering all the tools, a bottle of water and the new big pot, I was all set to plant the bright pink and yellow Celosia or the Cock’s comb and not wait to adorn my modest patio. With the experience of a beginner and will of an expertise, I started the process of replanting them. Honestly, it took me quite some time to finish this first time rewarding ordeal and like an ignorant gardener I placed this new pot in a good looking position in my happy patio.

Little did I realize, that my blinded overjoy had underestimated the strong Texan Sun and its  damaging UV power to these delicate new-comers. Within a few hours of my return from a quick grocery, my heart almost skipped a beat seeing them torn apart like a lost war. There I go. I was so mad at myself for behaving immaturely ignorant. I immediately removed them to a more cool and shady place and tied some jute strings to support them from falling apart.The next day,they seemed even worse and when I googled it up, I came across the term called ‘Transplant Shock’  that plants undergo due to stark changes in their environment and it takes them quite some care and sufficient time to recuperate from this shock.

Transplant Shock- was a totally new term and a new scenario to me. My mother advised to moderately water the plant, leaving it in part shade and give it time to adjust and revive. Made sense! It is always wise to give some time to time and allow one to heal.

As I met my plants first thing every morning and watched them even more closely wondering what more could I do to help without force or damage, I became more conscious of the Transplant Shock Syndrome and wondered if I too was going through or recovering a one?

Moving into a different country,  in a new environment, so far from my home, my land, my people and my comfort zone wasn’t easy and I am still dealing with it. Even though the brain understands that the vast greens and the expanses of the blue skies all belongs to the same planet, but the heart and the mind inside the heart, feels so far from it’s original roots. And the answer was right there, in front of me.

Cribbing, mood swings, sleepless nights, long hours over the phone or forcibly wanting my scientific brain and emotional heart to adjust was not doing me any good. Instead may be all I still needed to do, is give me some considerable time, some watering of consideration and the partial shade of motivation and accept the change. And as I understood this well and gave my Celosia some time by itself, 2 of the 3 plants did start to revive and sprout new leaves and this revival brought in some hope for me as well and a comfort that I will hold on to my sanity and let acceptance seep me with comfort and content.

Isn’t it strange that in most ways we all are part of the same game and the same story to thrive, survive and bloom once we overcome the phase of a transition?

 

If you feel the same, please share your views  on the Transplant Shock Syndrome. 🙂

Pic Courtesy: Google. Mine are still recovering from what made me call them as ICU plants.. 😀

Memories By the Window

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It is typically strange how the mind works. It works in ways that we, ourselves are unaware of and yet we come to believe that everything is in our absolute control. Experiences of the past, that once seemed nothing but an unending trail of hurdles and some selective cherished moments, matures to become a lesson that if reflected upon, can surpass the depths of our own comprehensible imaginations. It amuses me every time, how the life we lead, revolves around us and comes to a point where it all started, leading us to the ‘Bigger Picture’.

The first few minutes of my recent usual mornings in my new apartment are dedicated to my patio. I simply love being there first thing in the morning. Though the view is more or less the same, I still enjoy being in the moment where the Sun has risen and yet not harsh, the mild breeze that sways the colorful and delicate flowers in my little patio, the wind-chimes that bang against each other and create their hollow symphony, neighbors walking their dogs and those who are out for their morning stroll, all together in a composition, comforts me about the continuity of life.

And to remember this, it all began, when I as a young girl  and my mother used to stand at our window each morning, after she woke me up from my bed. I was her and now she is my, best friend ever since then. We used to stand together, feeling the cool morning breeze and the peace of simplicity that mornings alone can offer. With smudgy and sleepy eyes, I used to wrap my arms around her waist and watch all that she used to show me. Particularly, the birds were and are still are, our favorites.

The chirping sparrows and the crows that sat on the boundary wall of our backyard were described as having an interchange of thoughts and plans for the day and that was a lot of chit-chat. Among these, were  flocks of pigeons who collectively flew from one roof to another and sometimes even took two laps before they settled on a particular roof of our neighboring house. “Do you see how they too go for a morning walk like us? They begin their days just like ours and so cheerfully, everyday without any fail.” said my mother.  And this is how an average day would begin for me- by the window side and along with the continuity of life.

Back in those days, when life was just about living and doing the little things right and was no more attractive than my house, my school and the playground, my world was what I wove in my thoughts and they were certainly beautiful and deeply innocent in comparison to the chaos that runs in it now.                                                                                                                                    The first 10 minutes at the window, tucking my head against my mother’s soft cotton saree and her supple belly was the comfort that I grew up with and along with it, that came along was a blessing of admiration for all living forms – be it a flower blossom, a chirping happy bird, ecstatic baby lambs jumping on the winter fields or calm cows that slowly grazed the green meadows until the cattle owners came declaring their time-out. And  on those fondly memorable days when it rained, those 10 minutes would ripen to a delightful poetry.

Today after all these 25 years, and all the uncountable miles away from my mother and my home in India, little seems to have changed. I now wake up by the alarm, snoozing it several times until it gets unbearably annoying and when I hear a bird’s chirp, I recall the days when my mother used to wake me up saying, “Get up. See that little bird outside the window is calling you.”                                                                                                                                                                 I then rub my foggy eyes, splash some water and go out to the patio to cherish this  very continuity of life, just that now, I crave for the company that made me saw the mornings in the way I still do. I watch the little birds chirp on the hi-tension wires and the ones hiding in the green bushy trees, the pigeons in grey and white flocking from one roof to another completing their morning rounds giving me a feel of the many things that still hasn’t changed and yet things somehow aren’t exactly how they used to be.

May be today after so many years, I can credit those special 10 minutes of my childhood mornings, to the surge I feel  when I now look into the eyes of another sentient living being, streaming the ground or the sky,still touched with a delightful amusement. An amusement that make me appreciate my existence and not forcibly win over it just because I belong to ‘mankind’. There is an inexplicable chord of connection that wants more of me to love it than to ignore it or dread it. A reflex and excitation of the connection of life; of the same ways we all are meant to be;  an understanding of the absolute needs to eat, sleep, love and play just as much we relate ourselves to, is clearly the same for every living creature in their own unique ways, thriving with us on this shared piece of land.                      

Then why has this world that I see, changed so much today or has it always been like this? Is it because, it was just a window and now by the patio, I have a wider vision of the reality we breathe in, where no happy lambs jump over the open fields, the calm and lazy cows grazing the meadows have a number tag punched in their ears unaware of their gory future, the birds flying in the sky are scarce and the roosters and the hens have lost their authority of the small roofs and the pecking grounds, just to land in the dark enclosures devoting their entire lives to our futile appetite, baseless religious and so-called cultural traditions?

This whole ordeal of accepting, what I learnt with and from my mother, by that Window and what I now see standing in my Patio, distresses me. Or may be, distress could be an understatement because what even comes back as a defensive answer, subject to an ignored mind and uncontrollable human greed, infuriates me with loss of sugar in my capacity, to coat my words.

And so today after these 25 years, life has yet again revolved and here I am with a picture clipping extracted  from the movie of my memories,  where I stand missing the warmth of my mother’s embrace and the amusement and delight the window exhibited only to know that the grass across my patio now is not even remotely close to what I pictured  it to be like.

However, now I also do feel blessed to have known those exclusive 10 minutes, that my mother spent with me every morning and all the amusements she made my little heart wonder. Had it not been for her, I would have missed out on a perception, making me repent in the journey of being a better person as a whole.

Thank you Mom!

With Love.

Pic Courtesy: Kari Shea and Somin Khanna

The Zero Tolerance Zone

The other day I was catching up with a good friend of mine. I won’t say she is an old friend because it really hasn’t been a very long period since we met and had started to strike a conversation. But something did strike pretty well to start off with a good conversation, we met the second time.

I am not a very easy person to make long lasting, deep meaning friendships. It’s not that I am not friendly, I very much am. But maybe because some really hard and life changing things have happened over the last few or rather many years that has pulled me inside my cocoon or my comfort zone. I have seen human behaviors and situations transforming and changing faster than the weathers of the era of the climate change and too early for my age I did happened to experience quite some weathering that has changed in the course of my mindset.

The shopping malls, new movie releases, glitz and glamour buzz or all the other scintillating things around portrayed nothing more than farce and useless subjects to spend time on. I seldom tried to bring myself together when I looked into the mirror, thinking why don’t I dress up or look like most girls or now women of my age do? And I did not find any luck with answers that would pop up from my reflection. Any shade of color that I brush on my face, makes me feel less of me and I end up sticking to a brown shade of lipstick or just a colorless lip gloss. I do not know for sure, whether the ‘brown comfort’ is about boredom or just being safe in my comfort zone or not wanting the need to be visibly noticed by means of just appearances.

To let out my accumulated energies and my passion to be associated with some genuine beings who wouldn’t judge me by any means, I had been volunteering at an animal shelter and this is where I met this ‘good friend’ of mine. It’s like meeting a person at a destined place and finding out, “wow, at least we have something in common”. More so, when you meet a person such as like here, you know that you won’t need episodes to understand each other too deeply to become friends. You just get hold of that one straw and you are to good to go.

I recollect us sharing our thought while she mentioned her mother calling her cold. “Cold? Really? …Why?” “Because I do not hang around with a lot of people, I don’t do the usual ‘to-do’ things that generally women of my age supposedly do by choice or privileged, I don’t spend hours shopping or trying to ‘make’ myself happy & pretty and all I do is try to focus to in my job and comeback home to myself. In short, because the way I am “, she said. And all I responded was by laughing and finding relief by saying, “I find myself again”. And this time, we laughed even harder.

I confessed my lack of desires to be “desirable” in terms that the world looks up to. Movies, celebrity lives, on-sale banners and aisle of cosmetics don’t impress me anymore rather they do confuse me and so I just let them be.However, I do feel the need to find a wavelength to match, to make long lasting or recurring conversations with people and fake is not my cup of tea anymore.And in a nutshell, we found ourselves parked in a zero tolerance zone to the trend setting world.

Being comfortable in your own skin, isn’t merely plain sailing. You got to work on both sides of your self because what appears is finally what sells and in continuation to the customer care satisfaction, it is the demolition and the construction of what continually evolves inside you. Your inner-self.

It would be wrong to admit that this isn’t spooky. The fear of being lost in the crowd or being run down is natural for the survival strategy and keeping up to the pace makes me or rather us, feels like a novice swimmer, coming up to the surface for oxygen in the fear of drowning.

So the impromptu poll is- what happens  in the next 5 years from now? Do we see ourselves running a family like our parents did, make life-changing events in the ever so changing wrecked world, be the professor for animal rights and have a law tagged with our names, write a book that turns out to be a bestseller? Which one of these or is it even thought through? Honestly, to admit I and we do not know and may be for the time being, we do not want to know either.

We will choose to take a chance, to wait and keep trying by taking each day in its best form and let life unwrap itself to us, hoping that this time would be a time,just more than ‘simply coping’.
For Posterity

 

Pic Source: https://unsplash.com by Ezra Jeffrey

Forbidden

Good food is delight and good dessert is a bliss!

I had come across this picture sometime ago and the resemblance of it with me was so strong that I couldn’t help saving it on my desktop. What an untold yet explicit expression has this picture captured or may be it is all about the strong resemblance we share ( I and the pup)!

This is exactly my condition when I hit a confectionery or cross by a bakery. I am so mesmerized that I can have a crisis of words to explain how I feel. Thankfully, I have some special people in my life who accept me this way and control my phases of frequent upsurge of excited emotions, and at the same time know to loosen up the leash when it is the right time.

Everything about a good looking cake draws me. The appearance, the colors, the shape, the distinct aroma that fills a bakery and the mystery of it’s taste. But, this is not the end.It is rare that I get the chance to taste it. Thanks to all the insidious scary calories and unwanted fat that comes with a hefty price.

Why and why on earth do such tempting pieces of ecstasy,calms the mind and scares the weighing scale?

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Growing up as a ‘healthy and cuddly’ child, I have been innumerably forbidden to the category of the ‘don’t eat’s’ but my devoted love for good cakes has remained solid ever since then.

thirtyrosesA love so strong, that I developed the knack to bake cakes my way (vegan ways) so they no longer remain forbidden in any ways to me, any longer and I can moderately and frequently surrender myself to the pleasure of the palate 🙂

Well, come to think of it, what makes some of the most desirable things so true to be tempting and yet forbidden? Is it because someone advised them to be so or is it because of the anticipation of what might follow? For sure, it is obvious by now, after being on the happier and some-what matured side of thirty, there is definitely a frenzy charm that underlies in things that are forbidden. The more we know a thing  is forbidden , the more is the curiosity to explore and uncover it, just like discovering a secret chest aging in the dark corners of the attic.

In a world like today, we are all kids outside the candy store.

While some like me, are tempted to cross the glass window and discover the cake beneath the enticing frosting, there is the other half of the race, who are engaged in discovering the forbidden powers and wrecking the world for nobody’s good continuing the legendary stories of the jinxed ‘forbidden fruit’.

Had half the world chosen good taste over these deceptively good forbidden powers, I bet it could turn out to be so much better for all of us..

Forbidden

Lost

Yes, totally. That is exactly how I feel about most of us. Lost!

It amuses me to see how we have become or rather we might have always been in the scenario of being so clueless about our own selves? It is glum to realize how in spite of all the modern conveniences and technologies hovering around us, all we have landed up in, is being nothing more than being confused as ever and never before.

As a young kid, to remember of all the differences that I encountered, were with my sibling.
We all know, how it is having an elder brother or sister and in my case I have grown up with an elder brother and we botsiblingsfightingh crossed our thirties with a whole bunch of differences in opinions and fights over the most trivial things. And now, it’s like, I do not even need to mention the bonding that has grown over the years.

As the teen years set in, I did grew up witnessing things mostly predominant like gender prejudices . I have grown up in the traditionally rich and culturally diverse land of India however the reason behind this paradox has not yet seeped me with enough logic. Although most of us do look at it with a different angle, viewing the culture as orthodox or one of constraint fashion. But whatever it is, it has been that way for years and thankfully, it has now has been gifted with at least some needed moderation by the present days.

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But hold on, that is not the end even by the slightest. I never did get a chance to solve the mystery of “Men are from Mars and Women from the Venus” agenda and my mature self bumps to other insanely traumatic footings of being annoyed and agonized by the clothes one chooses to wear, the food one prefers to eat, your professional choices,the God you want to love, the faith you want to adopt, your sexual orientation and everything about being “Just YOU” and all that remains is a surreal competition.20140114-225751

I bet, I couldn’t have asked for more complications with their certainly absurd implications.

We are living in a modern society that is so constantly engaged in being judgmental having a need for a revolution and upsurge for some of the most basic aspects of our living. A fight to choose and be safely open about our sexual orientation, a need for a revolution to enlighten a cruelty free behavior and a compassionate food choice, wars that exhibit enforcing higher powers over the others eventually leading to dead ends, tournaments over having a particular faith and being benched on the basis of the color of the skin one wears.

And did I forget? -“You’re 30 and still not married? Are you single and if so why? Are you not a parent yet? ” Sigh! Oh Lord! the list is so endless and unfortunately not so futile.

In the century of the geniuses, we are merely and majorly fighting combats and cold wars, just to prove ourselves and our opinions right, one over and after the other. 

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Bottom line – we all have issues with pretty much everything and all that we are doing now is poking our noses in “no one’s business”. Seriously, how much excitedly boring does this has to get?

I wish, one fine morning we all get to wake up and look at our devices having to read nothing about wars, protests, killings, the extensive illustrations of the inhumane “us” and it all gets lost in place of the us, who have been lost instead.

 

 

pic source: the web

 

In the “Becoming”

Insignificant and tiny is how I have arrived upon my existence. Unaware of what surrounds me, my silent senses are still alive. I can feel the air that breathes into me, the light that shines upon me and hear the voices permeating into me. I am static and at rest.I want to respond and react but I am confined and fastened by my destiny and life. I hold on and crawl within myself by every second that my breath counts for and yet nothing is seen.

You watch me like an insignificant entity, like am no more of purpose by reason or relevance. I look up to you, for you pass by me, unnoticed. I call and I look out, but am still too small, veiled and insignificant to be appraised. My voice is bleak, and audible only to me.  All this while, I pull my self together and move in camouflage in fear of being crushed as my limbs are still feeble but with a spirit that is marginally stronger. I do not appeal to the world by what beauty defines. But do I know, for I haven’t had a chance to see myself in a mirror that shows me my truest colors?

Nothing now is what I choose to have, but I comply since survival teaches me to do so. I am brave and intimidated at the same time. But can I exhibit what I feel? The world around me sees only that, what shows and not beyond. Although, I wish it could. The course of nature weathers me, sometimes weak and sometimes stronger than I could have ever imagined for myself. I am persistent that I would never loose my ground and one fine day,see the world from my very own vision. I have days when the skies are crisp, clear and blue and also those that are gloomy and cold. Yet I manage to survive and keep breathing.

However, I feel maybe my time has now come. Maybe, my ongoing existence isn’t of any further relevance to any of my passerby and mediocrity shall no longer be a part of me. I crib, I sulk and unhesitatingly choose to change the course of my river. I now choose for seclusion and solitude as  great historic men did. I begin to prepare and become one that is over and above of pity and dejection and seek for, the one last shelter. Now hidden from this customary world I choose to weave my own cocoon of infinite dreams and incubate my body and soul, to believe into ‘My Becoming’.

Hours and days pass by as the world around me continues to spin. But unaware of the outwardly adventures I continue to weave my dreams around me,the ones that I now choose to be mine. Acquiring them have never been like what it might have just seemed, but my transformation has just begun. And for whatever it takes, I would not stop. My feeble legs now seem to be strong and I begin to feel the gush of power and mysticism of beauty. I haven’t seen the mirror, yet I find refinement in my being and am truly relishing every bit of it. The strength in me is so profound now that I can hardly remember to crawl the path from where I began. And now, I know my time has come. I spread my wings for the first time and flap. The air  beneath empowers me. I ponder and pause and I flap again. This time, I choose to fly and look back only for recognition and esteem and embrace the sun in its truest spirit.

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I trembled as I soared my first flight and see a broader dimension of what only seemed too distant and in the spur of the moment I catch the first glimpse of an onlooker that is of awe and admiration.A glance like I had never seen before. “What is different now, that wasn’t before, that the eyes of sympathy and irrelevance now seemed to have changed.”  Flowers and fragrances now greet me and what I have at my disposal is not dust but a banquet of nectar. Just when I thought I was nothing but mundane, life has offered me with a burst of colors and wings to uplift my spirit and without a piece of glass, I know  from this very moment, I am what the world calls beautiful  because the world then chose to be my mirror and I chose to be the butterfly that the world chases.

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar. ” – Trina Paulus

Rebuild to Rejoice

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I build and rebuild a part of me everyday, at least I try. I desire to become the higher self of me each day and trust me each day is a work. I will not lie, I do feel drawn towards the good and the sadder days of my past and no matter how blessed I am with a smiling face that at times does get horribly grumpy  I do have to begin to rebuild myself from scratch.

Its not that I trail back intentionally, rather it just happens. But the optimistic side of me mentors to leave behind what’s gone and rebuild myself on those ground to be a ‘newer me’. I guess we all do, right? No matter how perfect and prim-n-proper we try to appear to the world and to our families, we continue to rebuild ourselves from our very own fragments all the time and so to my peace it makes me one out of everyone.

We seem to constantly gather and compose ourselves from fears, setbacks, traumas, criticism and rejections and thanks to the glorified grey matter, all this processing is not easy. It seems like you just built your house on the wrong piece of land and you are falling short of some of those necessary deep breaths.

And in a daily course of routine, we all get to do a lot of rebuilding stuff. From being more sober and sane, making the perfect toast in the morning, looking fit and good, performing competitively better at work, being available in full capacity to our loved ones at home and to the sound sleep that we desire to end it with, is a lot of construction, in and out, to deal with, every single day.

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But what if this process of collapse and rise of ourselves is just one sided? Will the outward appearing of this camouflaging shield protect us enough? May be not. May be the best suited outfit or the most graceful appearance is not enough and not all.

It should be certainly okay to allow ourselves to give a chance to collapse and to release bottled up emotions, to be able to assess and choose the company that surrounds us because it is from there at that very moment we get to gather bits and pieces of ourselves, put back the right pieces of the puzzle in the right places and choose to avoid living beyond our capacities, and thereby begin to cultivate and work on our own substance, accepting the real us with our own strengths and shortcomings, make peace with the past and embrace the present to rebuild ourselves   once again from a battle that we had once and several times thought to be lost and be the Phoenix that rises from its own ashes.
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A Reflection Of the Pure

“The eyes are the mirror of the soul”. I came across this phrase long time ago, say when I was in the habit of writing diaries and filling pages with quotes, that would strike even the mildest cord in my mind and since then, this philosophy did become a fascinating subject.

Its a saying or a belief that, a glistening pair of eyes is the window to the soul that is still innocent, connected with the higher being and is flawless and pure. No wonder why babies and animals have ever since attracted me. Reason- both of them are innocent, unaware of the crap that we pull on ourselves in everyday lives and mostly because they live without perceptions. Have you ever looked into their eyes and managed to refrain yourself from their sparkling purity? Yes, purity sparkles.

It is indeed in their eyes that I find purity and undeniable radiance. A language so unheard but so deeply felt that it manages to electrify and reflect my soul. It is this rare opportunity that we get to see the world from their eyes, from their vision,one that is so joyous, pleasant and delightful.But what happens when the same baby grows to an adult like us? Those very same eyes happen to loose their radiance and adapt the shine that flaunts the smiles and curtains the pain, struggle and the lessons we collect as we have walked in the garden paths mixed with dried twigs and blooms.

But somehow nature and evolution has managed to strike this balance. Where, with us the purity of innocence tends to fade with time, the one that I see in the eyes of an animal or a similar sentient being, still prevails. They still manage to have those eyes that can carry so much just more than a sight. Its true that they do not speak our language but if we care to hear by what we see through those marble like eyes, we wouldn’t need one. It’s that purity I guess, that instills us, connects us to our very own selves and gives us a chance to find that child that has somehow and somewhere got lost in the trade of struggles and successes. So lost, that at times we fail to become the voice for the voiceless, to stand by the most basic and intrinsic values with which we grow to be ‘sensible adults’ and just move with the crowd senselessly like zombies. I admit to see purity of life when I look into the similar eyes of a baby and an animal. Purity because unlike ours, they are  void of deception and perceptions and filled with the strength of existence. No wonder how mature we adults are, we happen to cherish the little priceless joys while holding a smiling baby in our arms and to hear the opera of their babbles, when we come home and our dog licks us and jumps over us like they haven’t seen us in years and when we have been kind to respect their life and freedom, their one kind look at you, seem to type a million words that express oodles of love.

And so, here I wish to ask you if you have ever felt the same kind of purity of our own existence while you looked into the eyes of a baby and other sentient being? I hope yes and I hope more because then that would mean, that tomorrow could still have a chance and the world could continue to be a better place to breathe in.

Music in The Air

I have to admit that pulling myself out of the bed is one of the hardest and accomplishing things I do each morning. For sure, I do not know why this is the case with me. I really cannot express how much I admire, wonder and modestly envy people who belong to the 5 am club and am still a poor candidate to join in.

However, I have tried a new trick. My friend told me once how insane I am to try it, being totally irresponsible to wreck my nerves. But after all, I had to do something! So after I have snoozed the alarm quite several times and randomly tried feeling myself getting back on the planet, I have so bogusly resorted to start staring (yes staring, since I do not process anything at that moment) at the phone. I have so willingly put myself in the gadget market that I need it to get me out of the bed with squinting eyes and I am not even the slightest proud about it. But I have a notion. A notion that some post on the social cluster, a WhatsApp message or an exciting email (which hardly happens) will be kicking me out of the bed. And then as my body clock finally clicks and my receptors get activated for the day, I hear a couple of enthusiastic chirps and come in agreement that another day has just started.

As I gather myself with partially dreamy eyes and put the water to boil, I quickly escape to the balcony for my kind of a quick weather check. I must say that I have all the reasons to envy the 5 am club because when the day starts it is certainly the most rewarding part of it.

We moved to Plano- Texas, pretty recently and what I like most about our apartment along with the other things, is the greenery that surrounds us. I am a nature loving person by default and every minuscule aspect of it, makes me a happy admirer. I love to watch the bunnies play around the shrubs and the way they chew the grass expeditiously, not to forget about the tiny white ball at their rear end. Its absolutely too cute to be called a ‘tail’. Don’t you agree?

The squirrels, accompanying the land, with the bunnies are comparatively bigger and fluffier than the ones I have seen in India. To capture a moment when I get to see them cracking fruit nuts with their tiny little hands while they rest on their bushy tail reminds me of the colourful childhood stories of ‘Chip and Dale’.

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Had it been a chance for once, that they would know how much I admire them with a faultless heart and how much I would wish for an opportunity to harmlessly sit beside them for a hearty conversation!

I also get to see birds here that are different from those that I have seen in my country. Obviously I love the variety of nature. All though I do get to see the familiar pigeons, but there are two birds in particular that engrosses me so much, that I can pleasantly watch them sitting in the balcony while I sip my morning tea. Honestly, I  am somewhat new to have identified their names as say, incapable to feed google with the ‘right kind’ of words to help me out. But whatever it may be, these two along with so many others across the abundance of the skies and the remaining green forests, are amazing vocalists. One of them is a black bird with a long tail and it surprises me with it’s astounding chirp of a variety of songs at a single stretch while pecking on the green walking trails facing our apartment. It leaves me wondering and pondering, about their version of thoughts. On the other end, there is this tiny blue and grey bird, exactly like the one in the tales of ‘Snow White’, who continually tweets a sharp yet sweet note on the roof my adjacent apartment and after an interval of a minute, flies a feet above , spins, lands down and begins to sing again. Depending on my mental state, her this particular activity resembles like a happy-to-go lucky soul and at times like an annoyed wife who is so irked, that even complaining out loud by herself in careless solitude gives her enough comfort or even like a casual show-off time to get noticed.

The most amazing thing above all is the fact that they all are so wonderful and unique in their own ways and what makes them even more fascinating is that they are unaware of their humble grace themselves.

And in the midst of all this, as I am about take the last few sips of my tea, and realise that it is finally time to start the day, I amuse this intoxicating music in the air. From the time the sun showers its first set of timid rays until the last shades of orange that paint the sky, there is this unnoticed and undeniable euphony in the air and such noticed and unnoticed subtle innocent activities simply and effortlessly happening around us, that had days been without them , life would have been nothing more than one set on a dull mute button.

The Other Side of the Bridge

Warmth and comfort are the one of the first and the finest luxuries that we are born with. From the protected womb to the rewarding arms of the mother is what graces us when we step into the different world, the world that is now vast than ever before. We live by and prepare ourselves to the strategy of “The Survival of the Fittest” and it is not unknown to anyone of us.

There are times when we move in clusters, in families and in accompaniments. We look for growth, for opportunities and for that set of the extra wings to fly. Each day we begin to take a new step. A step that would be different and more glorified than the one taken yesterday. For certain, that very step or the each of those different steps that we initiate may not be a merry one, may not please all with and around us but who has ever conquered his own spirit without stepping out of the inherited comfort zone?

Stepping distinctly makes us not one in the crowd but one that takes courage to be a ‘stand out’ in the crowd. It seldom occurs that we are alone and hence different but what if we are different and thus alone? It does take enough courage to face the solitude, the constant denial and conflict that dances within our own selves, to be isolated by your very own ‘people’  because you have taken a step that is divert and offbeat. So then, all that you are left with is either being the one, that the rest desires you to become or the one you desire yourself to become.

Standing on one side of the bridge is a moment of truth. The choice is either to be conquered or be triumphed over your own-self. The swaying feet on the shaky planks and the trembling hands on the wobbly rails  make us cold in the feet. The very thought of the unknown other end, minus the very support we have been fed with all this while is a random and impromptu occurrence that advises us to make the most stunning change in us and for us. The walk with no ground underneath or no wall to lean is for certain the most unsteady and seemingly unending path that we dare to take but with each shaking and self-boosting move we make, we take ourselves closer to the other end of the deceptive bridge.It would be false to acclaim this stride would be a blissful adventure but what we acquire along the trails is an experience to treasure for a lifetime. It is harsh but weathering  has created one of the finest wonders in its course. A wonder, that is within the crowd and yet ‘stands out’ in the crowd.

The ‘other side of the bridge’ is a world that isn’t explored and is unseen but once it is crossed we know that the faded line we used to watch by the sunset is the endless and the expansive world of the horizon.

The Spoon with Fingers

As a growing child, when I was being familiarized with table and culinary etiquette that would make me a dignified lady at the table, I was introduced to some tools, the application of which would help me conduct poise and refinement. I was often told,” there can be a lot told about you with your ‘meal’ mannerisms .” As a part of our culture, we take pride in eating, using our hands and in most cases we do find the food more relishing and satiating but coming to the tools, the spoon-fork-knife were the essential components to equip good eating that could not be ignored.

I have to admit I am a foodie and it shows on me. Exercise and diet regimes and food love go hand in hand in my life and I pay equal attention to both being integral for my survival. Now as a beginner in table etiquette, I never really understood the reason for the split spoon lying with so much pride  beside my plate. The spoon was any day a more pleasant equipment to deal with as it picked up the food for me with less effort which the splitted spoon known as the fork never did. It was so disappointing to see all my food drop back on the plate from in- between its fingers and I had been mostly confused and repeatedly reminded about holding them in the right hands for the right purpose. All I knew then, that when it was time for a Chinese meal, the fork was the most handy cutlery to come to rescue for a hungry me.

My mother back then, used to joke and tell me, “You can’t have everything easy and your way. You have to know what to do, when and how to do it. Life will eventually teach you.”

Like most other things, I hardly found any correlation to what she said and what it had to do with my cutlery confusion. But as years went by, I kept adapting and preparing myself to be the graceful lady at the supper table, I learned more and more ways of using the spoon with fingers, the fork. I saw others around me,learned, tried the wrong and the right ways, switched the spoon and the fork several times to understand their mechanism in sync and gradually knew when to quit the spoon, move out of the comfort and grab the fork to make a new convenience and all of a sudden, like a click in a dream, her words brought in more meaning to me than ever.

Fork

 

 

 

Enthralled by the ‘Michigan’

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I have always been fascinated by the abundance of the blue expanse and  have loved the shade of the Teal.

Whenever as a child, we traveled by a train that crossed a bridge over a river, I used to wonder about how deep would the hole be to hold so much water. The fact that the water from all the oceans and rivers doesn’t drip off the globe is one of the childish amusements that I can still wonder about with, my heart smirking inside.

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pic courtesy: Nabomita

The itinerary of  the breaking waves at the shore is a splendid activity that this accumulated bouquet of H2O so naturally posses and makes me marvel at all the life that it holds inside, not letting the onlooker even have the bleakest idea of its mysterious beauty. I have envied those lucky deep water divers who happen to have the chance to plunge into the’ life of beyond’, of what exists on the surface and awe themselves with another aspect of the life which is different in its own ways and yet so similar to the one we live in everyday.

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pic courtesy: Nabomita @ Lake Shore Wisconsin

To my collection of astonished admiration, if I could recollect such a wondrous hydro conglomeration that would clearly be when I happened to eye the huge Michigan during my stay in Wisconsin and trips around . Off all the rivers and seas I have witnessed in all my years, this lake is surely something so wondrous to me, that  I can fall short of my own expressions. For the first things, in my course of geographical interpretations, I could never comprehend something as large as the Michigan being even called a lake!

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Pic courtesy: Nabomita @ Arch Rock, Mackinac Islands
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Pic Courtesy: Nabomita @ Mackinac Islands

Call it my small town Indian habitat or my country where the largest and widest water shore could be only of a sea, the term’ lake’ to this huge water mass simply meant an understatement to me. Each time we drove to the lake shore, all that I remember is pure delight watching the swell of the waves, the magnificent shades of blue, the colorful kayaks, the contrasting white motor boats and hovering elegant white sea gulls and my countless attempts to capture this fascination through my lenses. If anything that could powerfully charm me during my 3 month short stay in Wisconsin was the fascinating Michigan that ran across six states and still be called a ‘Lake’.

With happy surfers on it, boat rides, sporty swimmers and families with adorable babies savoring at the shore,I witnessed  this lake behold so many stories in and and around its very own perimeter that it was so humbly unaware of.

Far off the lands, as I travel back to my country in India, I still cherish so many memories of this natural beauty that my mind uncontrollably trots back to the memory lane and yearns asking for some more of the cherished potion for this picturesque aquatic basin.

As I Remember You Again Today…

I Owe My Existence To You.

If I am the way the world sees me today is because of the person you wanted me to be seen as. I remember each time in my rough days, how you taught me while driving me to my accountancy classes that no matter what happens I should always learn to be independent. Independent of thoughts, of will, of physical and financial dependence so that I can keep my head raised at all times.

“So what if you are a girl? That should never be a hindrance to you becoming what you should become.” So loud and deep were these words that they have brought me where I am, who I am and still continue to stir me even till date.

You taught me never to compromise on my dreams and desires warning that they could lead to mismanaged days of frustration and in all these years of growing up I have realized every bit you mentioned. I miss calling ‘Papa’, that smile of yours, that hug of warmth, driving me to school or taking me to the market in your scooter, your love for Chinese food, hiding away my breakfast  if I ever had a poached egg on the plate, saving me from the trauma during exams at school, your ‘hello’ over our phone calls while I was in college, the well concealed fear of your college attending daughter having a boyfriend, the smirk you used to give when I scolded you as if you were my kid and so many tiny little things that I have gathered, bit by bit, in my 30 years.

Each and every day till now from the time you left, there hasn’t been a single day I haven’t missed your presence.So much has changed since you have been gone in this way. I keep wondering how you might have felt seeing me working, being an independent woman, getting married to a wonderful man whom I believe your loving spirit had chosen for me. How nice it would have been to see you along with mother, as I have grown over these years trying to become someone that you both wished for me.

May be I dint have the chance to cry over your absence since the day you left as you left Ma for me. I hope you know that now she means the world to me because I relate to the pain of the absence of a companion, the pain that love brings in, hand-in-hand. She now is not only my mother but like my own child and I forget to cry when I see her dealing with the unspoken pain for you and trust me our society makes it even worse for a woman.

Its 4th July, a day that your family can never forget. Your teachings leave me perplexed as to whether I should grieve on this day or continue it like a normal one knowing that you must be closely watching me from somewhere and I should keep the spirit of life alive.

I hope that as you transformed into a soul you could peep in my heart and see that as your daughter, I could never have asked for a father more fantastic as you. I feel humbly proud when people tell me of my resemblances with you.And Let me tell you that I will ensure that you keep smiling at me from wherever you are and as whoever you reborn as, make you proud whenever I can, value all that you taught me, be the daughter you wanted me to be like and take care of your wife not like my mother but like my own child.

I will be strong, I will be self sufficient and independent and will continue to grow be a ‘true woman’. Promise me that you will not forget coming in my dreams where I could see and hear you because looking at old photographs just scares the hell out of me as it makes me realize you more like a memory that are of my irrecoverable distant days.

I have and will keep loving you forever Papa not just today or on Father’s Day, Birthday or your Anniversary but till the day I become old and my memories leave me desolated.

Beyond the Bounds of ‘Adoption’

We all like to have our own imprints on this planet. While imprints can have a lot of connotations but with my observation in a last couple of days, they have been mostly about leaving your imprints on the blessed earth only via your own offspring and imagine, in India if you happen to be married for over an year, the most promising probable question you can expect popping for you is “Is there a good news?” and the disappointing answer could be a sighed blatant “no”.

Sadly we obliterate about leaving footprints through social conduct, societal contributions,the fact about ‘charity begins at home’ and end up with a vital discussion about having it done only through our babies. Well as a social animal and a woman I do not dismiss the idea of the overwhelming joy of being a parent to an adorable child but is that really it?

A few days back, at a friendly gathering and random discussions when I raised the subject of adoption as an exceptionally decent thing to be done, I surely did not have much supporting agreement to the subject as people generally till date sway away from the matter as the least important thing to be done. It is indeed strange when people of the current genesis too do not believe in the theory of adoption. Raised concerns like mismatching features, difference in genetics and behaviors and not being a stem to the blood line seem futile since adoption means acceptance with differences and loving that acceptance.

It is way easy to love and adore people or even adore things belonging to us right from our beginning but making a life form ours,by the will of love, is all about the beauty of adoption. Life teaches us to allow friends, our love, societal figures and influences, mannerisms ,behaviors and lifestyle requirements that we adopt along our way anticipating the idealistic kind of life.We do come across other sentient beings who lend their selfless love on the innocent abandons yet, the word ‘adoption’ becomes so much like the boulder of ignorance and nonacceptance to the ‘advanced us’.

India still beholds the idea that adoption is only for those who may be restricted with a biological motherhood but since when has motherhood been a restricted emotion?

Either we might have misread the word in school or may be its another aspect of our life that we wish to run on the wheels of conveniences. In my country sadly, we always need a developed nation or a celebrity to set standards for ourselves to get going into a particular action but simultaneously refrain from the idea of being the change ourselves.It is truly admirable when I have come across in my country, those numbered open minded and brave souls who move beyond traditions and believe in improving their overall existence by adopting a life.

Adopting a child or an animal is not a state of charity or a vent of a grieving heart but an extension of your humanity and unconditional love where you openly accept and allow a life to grow, nurture and blossom. Life and bloodlines do not give us guarantee for happiness in our coming old days but humble gestures and good values does. So the next time we suspiciously look down upon the subject it is nice to be aware that subconsciously, its us who are afraid to shower our affection and not about the one who is waiting to be owned by our act of love.

The ‘Still So Much More’ in an Indian Marriage

Art by Amrit Dutta

Today as I met a friend of mine over coffee, we once again bumped over the reality how falling in love or getting married in India, may be not really simple for most of us and even if they by chance happen to be simple, traditions and customs can get one going bonkers. They can be potentially strong to even let all the love evaporate from your plate and let marriage alone wonder, as to why its even happening.

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The Felicity of Monsoons

Amazing_Rainy_Drops_Wallpaper

There is something so beautiful that appeals to me about the monsoons in India. For the starters, I love the smell of the wet soil with the first few showers of rain. After a scorching and terrible summer heat wave, the rendezvous of the  grey plush clouds spread over the blue skies is like a long tried painting that finally turns successful.

The dance of the trees to the tune of breeze, the leaves in their truest colors after they are washed off all the dust and the smoke, the little birds taking a fluttering bath in the small puddles and a smile that runs across everyone’s face is Monsoon in India.

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In a House Or a Home?

Staying-home-card-quotes

I remember reading in school that the words house and home are one and the same thing and technically they are also synonyms for each other. However over the years of growing, I do feel that there is a thin line that divides the two. I can have a big house and a small home or a big home and a small house. Did this read to be a bit confusing?

Sometimes it seems to me like they are two similar but different sized containers that fit into one another. Sorry for the comparison, they seem to reflect my frequent activities at arranging my kitchen but given a serious random thought, I see people mentioning about the amount they have spent or are planning to spend to build or buy a house. There are property hoardings that proclaim selling homes and not houses and their big sized schemes with all the up-to-date amenities and western influenced luxury lifestyle.Yeah, there seem to be too much playing around with these words and psychology of happiness chasing day dreamers like us.

Continue reading “In a House Or a Home?”

An Open Letter To My Anxiety

lifesfinewhine

Before I start this I just have to say that I was inspired to write this by swiftiewithfragilex who is an amazing blogger as well as an incredible Youtuber. She has not only given me lots of inspiration but has become a great friend too. I would highly recommend anyone reading this to take the “Open Letter Challenge.”

Dear Anxiety,

I guess I’ve always been a little paranoid and I’ve always had the tendency to overthink everything and I can’t say that your appearance in my life is completely unexpected. I don’t know why I’m like this- maybe it’s the way I was raised or maybe I’m just genetically predispositioned to be an anxious person. Honestly, it could easily be either.

You joined me soon after your co-worker depression decided to leave. All my life I’ve felt as if I need to be cautious, as though I should always…

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