29 October 2007

Some pictures of my Dobe. She's over 10 years now.

Her own sofa--out on the verandah.

27 October 2007

Being an (guitar-playing) old lady!

I received this as a mail from an old friend recently. I felt it so so right that I had to share it.

"The other day a young person asked me how I felt about being old. I was taken aback, for I do not think of myself as old. Upon seeing my reaction, she was immediately embarrassed, but I explained that it was an interesting question, and I would ponder it, and let her know.

Old Age, I decided, is a gift.

I am now, probably for the first time in my life, the person I have always wanted to be. Oh, not my body! I sometime despair over my body, the wrinkles, the baggy eyes, and the sagging butt. And often I am taken aback by that old person that lives in my mirror (who looks like my mother!), but I don't agonize over those things for long.

I would never trade my amazing friends, my wonderful life, my loving family for less gray hair or a flatter belly. As I've aged, I've become more kind to myself, and less critical of myself. I've become my own friend.
I don't chide myself for eating that extra cookie, or for not making my bed, or for buying that silly cement gecko that I didn't need, but looks so avante garde on my patio. I am entitled to a treat, to be messy, to be extravagant.
I have seen too many dear friends leave this world too soon; before they understood the great freedom that comes with aging.

Whose business is it if I choose to read or play on the computer until 4 AM and sleep until noon?
I will dance with myself to those wonderful tunes of the 60&70's, and if I, at the same time, wish to weep over a lost love ... I will.

I will walk the beach in a swim suit that is stretched over a bulging body, and will dive into the waves with abandon if I choose to, despite the pitying glances from the jet set.

They, too, will get old.

I know I am sometimes forgetful. But there again, some of life is just as well forgotten. And I eventually remember the important things.

Sure, over the years my heart has been broken. How can your heart not break when you lose a loved one, or when a child suffers, or even when somebody's beloved pet gets hit by a car? But broken hearts are what give us strength and understanding and compassion. A heart never broken is pristine and sterile and will never know the joy of being imperfect.

I am so blessed to have lived long enough to have my hair turning gray, and to have my youthful laughs be forever etched into deep grooves on my face. So many have never laughed, and so many have died before their hair could turn silver.

As you get older, it is easier to be positive. You care less about what other people think. I don't question myself anymore. I've even earned the right to be wrong.

So, to answer your question, I like being old. It has set me free. I like the person I have become. I am not going to live forever, but while I am still here, I will not waste time lamenting what could have been, or worrying about what will be. And I shall eat dessert every single day. (If I feel like it)."

Well youngsters out there, that's why I am really glad I never again have to be a teenager again --at least in this life :)

26 October 2007

While doing Transactional Analysis, a question that was raised was who was a favourite hero/heroine who's character influenced you. As I was reading L. M. Montgomery's 'Anne of Green Gables' series again, I thought about that again. My absolute fave character, who I identified with so much, was Jo from the Little Women series, especially as she was in 'Little Men' and 'Jo's Boys'. As I thought about it, all my best-loved characters were girls/women who tried hard to be cheerful and were basically feminist, whether Louisa Alcott's Jo, or L. M. Montogomery's Anne or Pollyanna (who somehow got bad press in the US later for some reason) or even Jane Eyre. These books are still a favourite read whenever I want a mental boost.
So, who are your favourite childhood characters?

25 October 2007

A Tag

I was tagged by Eve about my eccentricities—if any.

After much thought, I have come up with two.

  1. Cigarette butts and burnt out matches are dirty I know, but for me it’s almost like a phobia. I used to feel pukey. But I’ve sort of forced myself out of that!
  2. I keep things away very safely---and then I can’t find them!!!!!
I promise you Eve, I did try to come up with some more, but there isn't. I'm not obsessive at all--truly. But I am considered eccentric around here because
1. I don't bother to dress up like everyone else
2. I'm not in the gossip league,
3. I'm not a regular church goer;
In fact, I am not much into any of the usual pursuits of women, particularly of my age, around here.
So Eve, you can judge how eccentric I am :)

22 October 2007

Was in Bangalore over the weekend. Got back this morning. Went to a Web World, but somehow couldn't make myself post on a public computer!
It was a nice relaxed holiday. But this time I didn't mind coming back :)

What colour is your brain?

A fun blogthing I found!

Your Brain is Green

Of all the brain types, yours has the most balance.
You are able to see all sides to most problems and are a good problem solver.
You need time to work out your thoughts, but you don't get stuck in bad thinking patterns.

You tend to spend a lot of time thinking about the future, philosophy, and relationships (both personal and intellectual).

Listening to: Brian Bromberg - When I Look In Your Eyes
via FoxyTunes

14 October 2007

Thank you

Thank you all for the birthday wishes. I really appreciate them.
I wanted to add something about the getting out of depression; to all of you out there who are struggling in it, let's face it, some of you may not even want to read about getting over it, because actually your mind just does not have the energy to see the alternatives. Even when you realize you are on the road to recovery--it still takes time. Early through the group thingy I went for, I used to berate myself for not being able to utilize all I had learnt about how to change my attitude and behaviour, in my daily life. Then I realised that it was little, tiny steps in behaviour change, in thinking a little differently, that helped and once again TIME. So, for all of you out there struggling with various kinds of depression, it's a cliche about time healing all, but sort of true. It may never erase the past, or a sad fact, but luckily for us, our memories do a get a little hazy and outlines become a little fuzzy, which makes it easier to live on.
I do want to add that I'm sure in severe cases of depression, medication would be a great help, but I am all for some kind of therapy too, because to me that shows us where and how we can change our thinking, because after all some circumstances cannot be changed and can only be lived around. I also feel having a strong reason to go on living (in technicolour), helps one to to get over the greyness.

09 October 2007

Yesterday I turned 56. As I made a cake after work and got ready for the family's visit, I thought back to the me I had been around 5 years ago. I saw how deeply depressed I had been.
After my children left home for university and I changed my job for a while, I just slipped deeper & deeper into depression. It was only by rigidly compartmentalizing and tightly controlling my mind that I could make myself get up every morning and keep on living. The fact that I had so much to be thankful for only served to make me feel worse, feel even more worthless. The world was so gray I can't tell you. It's only after I went through a kind of group therapy that change started happening. Yesterday, being my birthday I suppose, I found myself watching each action of mine and thinking how different it was a while back. I am so glad I can see colour in my life again. The thing is, circumstances have hardly changed, only my outlook has.

Listening to: Paul Desmond - Body and Soul - The Best of the Complete Paul Desmond
via FoxyTunes

07 October 2007


Now that the rains are over the birds are out again. The raucous cry of the woodpecker came to me from the top of the coconut tree, and in the cool of the morning the sound of birdsong drew me out to see a pair of racket-tail drongos at the top of a tall bamboo stalk, singing away to each other. Just now the trees outside my window sway in time to my music to a gently breeze--all compensations for living in smalltown (as opposed to siren call of urbania) among greenery.

Listening to: Flamenco
via FoxyTunes

03 October 2007


I was away in Delhi for almost a week for a wedding in the family. My husband is part of a large family. So we were 13 of us travelling together on Sept.21st. In fact we hired a minivan to take us to the airport! The journey was fun--although we took a late flight.
It was a mixed community wedding--a Mallu Christian marrying a Bengali Brahmin. So the festivities extended over a couple of days, what with 2 kinds of weddings and attendant functions. I had a great time. There are more details over on this page.
At the end of the 6 days, everyone else was just waiting to get back to their homes. I agree it was uncomfortable living out of a suitcase and in in one room, but this time I truly realized how much I miss a city. I was seized with a real homesickness at the thought of leaving! I so enjoyed loafing around Sarojini Market all by myself, going to Nathu's at Bengali market with my niece and stuffing myself with gol gappas & papdi chaat(something I'd dreamt about doing for a long while) and just generally walking around in CP and Khan market and eating on the street, etc. Eating on the street and stuff is never done here!
The other day 2 of my sisters-in-law were talking about the fact that they are so used to the fact that everyone around here knows us all and so one hardly has to wait in a queue and how at so many places here you get personalized service etc. She said that she missed that so much while visiting in Delhi. My heart gave a small lurch and I thought well, that kind of anonymity is what I miss so much. (Talk about one man's meat.....) The one time I think that kind of familiarity is useful is when you visit a doctor, because sometimes big-city doctors only seem to be out for the maximum they can make out of you, whereas in a small town like this, where you know alot of people, you feel confident the doctor won't take you for a ride.
Anyway, I am back in small town now and consoling myself with the fact that after all I wouldn't get this kind of space, greenery and the less polluted air in the city!

02 October 2007

A Tag

Eve's Lungs tagged me. I find tags difficult to do. But this time I thought I'd finish of difficult tasks first. So here is the tag.

So, here are the rules -
Rule 1: Without changing the first word, after each letter of the alphabet, write a sentence that captures you/your essence .
Rule 2: Tag as many people as you want, but do tag at least one. This is an eye opening experience and can express to those who read it, things about you that they did not really understand before.
Rule 3: List who you are tagging.

A Accept people for they are. Makes life much easier. I may not be able to do it all the time. But I do manage pretty often.

B. Balancing my life is important to me—you see the scales are the symbol of my sign.

C. Change is the only constant in life. If one can accept that, it truly helps in dealing with the vicissitudes in life.

D. Dressing up is not my scene!

E. Ego trips cause problems. If only you can put yourself in the other person’s shoes for a minute, your own ego assumes less importance.

F. Fun to me is hanging out with Family, no question about that.

G. Genuineness is such a key element in any relationship.

H. Hate hypocrisy. The worst are hypocritical preachers and that means anyone in a position of power talking to the less powerful, whether politicians, teachers, religious people or parents.

I. Ignite a spark in someone’s life by paying a genuine compliment.

J. Judge not your brother.

K. Know yourself.

L. Loving and accepting me—as I am, warts and all—is a difficult proposition. But I’m working at it.

M. Mothering is something I totally enjoy—whether baby animals or humans.

N. No excuses! I work hard not to make excuses because I see it as trying to justify myself for something that I know I ought to have done (or not done).

O. Openness to new experiences makes for an enriched life.

P. Peace (at any cost sometimes). Circumstances and endeavour have given me a more or less peaceful life (thanks also to the Force/powers above).

Q. Quiet time is so essential in achieving aforesaid peace. Helps in de-stressing and in putting things in perspective

R. Rationalizing emotions so often helps in preventing outbursts.

S. Self-pity and self-doubt could make me inert! So jettisoned the first and dealing with the second.

T. Togetherness comes from finding the same things funny!

U. Understanding (or at least attempting to) a person, a situation, a mechanism, anything, certainly brings down one’s blood pressure and makes accepting of said thing (person, situation, etc) easier.

V. Validation from others was something I once needed a great deal. But I’ve almost got out of it.

W. Wishing and waiting for a perfect life to be happy in is stupid!

X. Xerox and Xylophone seem to the only words with X that come to mind. So I’m cheating! Xtremes in moods and/or actions get rid of peace really fast.

Y. Yesterdays are just that—the past. Nice to remember the good yesterdays, but no point living there.

Z. Zaniness in a person (not to extremes) is something I admire; shows self-confidence.

I'm not tagging anyone--sorry EL. But anyone who would like to do this tag is welcome to do it.