If Only

There was a time, like the ‘once upon a time’ thing, that all the posts on Facebook defining veganism would make less sense to me. I did understand that it was about standing up for the right of animals other than we humans, but its deeper implications in terms of travelling an enlightened route of compassion through food and lifestyle, hadn’t been that clear to me.

I did always adore watching birds and animals since the childhood days that I recollect and from stories that my family spoke of. However, insects and reptiles are ever still creepy to me but I am certainly neutral to them not having the first instinct to harm them at mere sight.

So, in continuation to the introduction and my almost enlightened phase, it has been almost 2 years for me refraining and then quitting dairy and a successful completion of around 8-9 months in addition,  absorbing into the whole peaceful concept of being vegan in terms of diet as well as initiated cruelty-free lifestyle. My spirits have been so pepped up that I even managed to pull my omnivore husband into convincing that this change is for the good of all of us.Not that I blindfolded and kidnapped him into believing in it, since thankfully he is an open mined and liberal man and I vouch to admire his general reasoning abilities.

Turning Vegan, on a serious note wasn’t easy. All the Facebook , Twitter and Instagram posts mocking vegan feelings, addressing humanity at all levels and the million dollar questions about “Where the hell will you get your protein from?”, all started making sense just one fine day.Well, and if you are an Indian & specially a Bengali like me, God has to come down to help you. You have seemed to have broken the rich tradition of eating fish which is supposedly “your” cultural trademark and you out of the blue, have become the revolutionary to conquer the family’s food system. Also when apparently, more than 3 dishes are regularly cooked (including vegetables) and served on a daily basis, it is because of you that the kitchen fails to provide options and there is a complete Food Panic Attack ceremony that blows its siren off. Weird and funny at the same time. 😀

I won’t deny, but at times I find this observed ordeal fun to watch not because I am mean but because my very own folks cannot see things that are right in front of them.

I have been questioned at almost every gathering so far, like a celebrity (Yay!) as to what meals I cook, do I not eat my fellow beings because I worship the God or is it because I am trying to save money?  And is my husband “who has no choice” has to stay hungry to deal with my crazy food choices and order food from outside? I am not even wandering around the ‘Protein’ quiz contests and having “nothing to order at the restaurant ” or “starving while on road trip” theories. I guess I am not the only ‘to-be-vegan’/’vegan’ who is bombarded with these trademarked inquisitive questions.

I’d be honest. When on one hand I am enthused explaining to my friends, the ethical and health reasons behind my choices, I do get most occasionally raged when being mocked is the promptest reply but gulp it down like a bitter pill. But as time has evolved around me, I feel the need to be angry or disturbed way lesser than before. Instead I begin to modestly patronize my fancy for baking vegan  cakes that are so less in  “calories” and in “cruelty” than otherwise. Atleast, “calories ” seem to make more sense to people today than “cruelty” does. It’s strange but is bitterly true.

witch-character-design_1196-50Off late, my spouse and I have also recognized  myself being influenced by the character of the witch who lures people into her house and feeds them with magical and intoxicated food, just that mine are vegan and definitely toxic free. 😀 Somewhat like an advertisement that yells out and says, ” I do eat good food and so does my family and there is really nothing that I am missing out here in my life.” And the moment the question pops up, “really, is this vegan? It doesn’t taste bad at all.” is perfectly a victorious moment for me and my now partly converted omnivore spouse. 😀

With all this and more, at the end of the day and after so many prolonged & futile discussions, it is hard to believe that we take pride to live in a world surrounded by rich, educated and doctorate folks when the wise ones are yet so rare to find. We believe in accepting those who have mindsets similar to theirs and not the one, that dares to be different even if the changing world believes it to be the right step taken. Today, there is a whole bunch of criteria we need to tick, in order to submit ourselves as “fit” to be part of a crowd and individuality is apparently just about being privileged.

thTravelling through stereotypes of judgement on the basis of gender, race, beliefs & culture, ethical choices are now, the most phenomenal addition to the list.

 

And in the hours that I spend by myself, petting my dog (currently the ones I foster), the eyes that look right back into mine, her cushioned paws that raise to give me a shake and that wagging tail and squeaky tone when she finally sees me after a long day, is so profound and hard to ignore. All it does to me is make me feel more and more connected to life in varied forms. Never ever in my slightest conscience can I even dream her or my other non human or human companions as being  treated so wrongly for the taste of my palate or pleasure.  Each of them have such amazing individual personalities and yet it is sad that most of us fail to acknowledge their existence over ours.

Do I have something different in me? Absolutely not. We all as human beings have been gifted with such immense qualities guided by compassion, strength and morality that if put in the right place, coexistence would never have had to be such a huge deal.

 

If only we could open our eyes once and listen to what our heart chooses over what our tastes and false luxuries desire, ‘peace’ would be a normalcy and not a luxury. If only, it was not for mankind, who is so adamant and blinded by greed that we force the innocent fellow dwellers run through the stairs of painful hell each day, there would have been more roses in the garden than blood that drains into the rivers each day. If only, we had more giving hands than those that take away, there would have been a little less tear each day that dried away into a silent sleep.

If Only… I Wish.♥

Pic Source: Unsplash

I am not a Dog!

The Tale of the Coyote

I maybe unaware of many of my potentials, but my constant attraction and amusement towards the animal kingdom doesn’t surprise me much after all these years.

I have been a pretty ‘famous‘ kid in my family, for this fond behavior of mine, especially coming from a time when animals were just not taken seriously enough.

I have been ‘almost’ kicked by a happy grazing horse because my innocent instincts as a child did not warn me before I was attracted to grab the lusciously swaying mane of the careless creature. Had it not been for my pretty fluffy frock, I would have ended up having some cracked ribs and howling parents.

However, time evolved and I continued my adventurous childhood. I had several pet episodes from rescuing a hen and adoring her as my best friend, celebrating birthday parties for my love birds, going crazy over my bunnies and being obsessed about my roaming baby parrot who I would sincerely put to bed every single night until her instincts asked her to fly away. All this and more of such incidents in details, have ever since then been a popular storytelling about me by my elders gathering much praise and ridicule at the same time.  I will admit, that I never took  the ridicule very seriously apart from now laughing inside out of the insane little things my heart has made me do.

It was not long since the epic stories of my childhood animal-love craze had faded and this time it obviously had to be my better half, who has been having to deal with me and the varied dimensions of my personality. :D. And I must proudly admit that I have added so much variety to his usual mundane living. 😉

From feeding stray dogs and having a fan club of dogs following me in my house street, in India that I  have ever heavenly adored, to finding peace within myself by working at the shelter and fostering dogs whom I could help in my own small ways ways, are the small things that make me feel good about being me. But something such as this particular incident had pretty much manage me to amuse myself and needless to say, jolt my husband. 😀

It was that evening when I was running late on my usual schedule and was unforgivably late to take my foster dog, Rex for his evening walks. While I had literally tired myself out in the efforts of exhausting my dog, who actually showed no such similar signs but of more enthusiasm, I spotted a slender sharp eared dog in the distant with no leash, collar, or any human around. At first I expected his or her parent to be around and started talking to my dog in gibberish how well the other fellow was without leash and hoped Rex would understand the rest of my expectation from my intention. You know, when they say that animals can read your mind and energy ~ it was clearly an effort in that direction.

In the next 5 seconds, I had 10 thoughts that ran in my mind. I was all geared  and enthused to help this young abandoned funny looking stray dog. I did wonder his breed, because he looked much like the strays back home in India but nothing like I would expect to come across in the US owing to my limited knowledge, to the dog breeding industry.

I approached the seemingly scared fellow with some treats that I had with me. I usually keep them handy to teach my dog leash walking manners and here it seemed that they could be useful even otherwise. Anyways, I moved closer carefully not to scare the dog away, trying to call him closer extending my hands with the treats but it was of no help. The fellow seemed even more scared and ran into the neighboring bushes. Surprisingly my companion mutt did not even make a hush and it seemed pretty weird to me.

 

I did think of giving a call to my spouse who was busy practicing his strings and urge him to help take this guy to the local shelter, but had I just not hurried out of my house and remembered to carry my cell phone along, I would have done that too.

With helpful thoughts hovering on my mind, I changed my route and while we were strolling our way back to our apartment, a friendly jogger passed by me, notifying that there was a young coyote out there in the bushes and it would not be really safe. “Ahh. Now I know why he wasn’t sure about the treats and why my mutt had made no sign of agreement. How the hell am I still so stupid?” And headed straight back home.

With a proud voice I alarmed my husband, that I was back home and like my stereotypical ways, I called him loud as I began to remove my shoes.

” You know what?”
“No,what? “, his usual reply.
” I was luring a coyote to come home with me.”

Pin Drop Silence

“What? Really What?”

And I burst out laughing right there. ” I thought it was an abandoned dog and I could be of some help. I have never seen a coyote in real and besides that, don’t you think it was exciting?”  “I must advice you that besides your good intention, you really should not be thinking so much. It clearly isn’t anything that I would call exciting. I am grateful that you are lucky and safe and I am not chasing a 911 at the moment” and he helplessly returned to strumming his guitar.

“Please don’t go to walk Rex , so late in the evening. I really cannot afford to foster coyotes in the house” was the last bit of murmur that came out of him after a while and I was still wondering and secretly laughing inside, thinking of what I was just about to do. It was almost like the narrow escape from being kicked by that horse, back in those days.:D

But nevertheless, my stories shall continue, hopefully sensible ones…

Alas! Marriage can truly have so much to endure. 😀 ♥

Original pic: was inspired from here. 🙂

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. 😀  ♥