06 December 2008
1. In a democracy, there ought not to be any 'us and them' between government and the people. A poster I saw on TV said it aptly--politician, you are our (the people's) servant'.
2. Therefore from point 1 above, we have to vote to get the government we want (to some extent).
3. The politician is just another citizen of our country like you or me. If he is corrupt/is interested only in himself and family, that obviously shows that the vast majority of us are like that. Now if somebody says that only the worst kind go into politics, what's to stop somebody with better morals from going into it?
4. In one of those TV discussions in the aftermath, somebody suggested that we should not pay taxes. I don't see how not paying taxes punishes our politicians. We punish ourselves. If we want the policeman to have a decent salary and for him to be trained and armed properly, that money has to come from taxes, or is anybody planning to sponsor the upgrading of our policemen? Why is there so much tax evasion in the country?
I feel when we criticize our politicians, we should also think about changing ourselves. Let's not decry someone's outlook based on their caste/religion. Let's all turn out to vote at every election. Let's not use influence/money to get us out of a queue or out of a tight spot. Let's teach our children to follow the laws of our country, not implying that those who follow rules are wimps. Let's each of us work together in our work places, without using office politics to put someone else down. Let's realise that sometimes for the good of all, we have to give up a bit of ourselves.
That's my POV. Feel free to add what you feel.
02 December 2008
Not too good, being a phonophoto. But it really made me smile! I didn't know about this event then. Just saw this happy smiley face in the sky and loved it. Made me feel Mother Nature was telling me she's still around--whatever else we human beings were doing to each other.
29 November 2008
For all of us who have had contact with Mumbai, Mumbai is a living, breathing entity. I was born there and most of my family have lived there at some point of time. What has occurred in the last 2 and a half days has saddened me so deeply.
The modern face of terror is very frightening, because reason truly seems to have taken a back seat. Is this the kind of situation we are going to see more of, as life on our planet gets more difficult to live in(due to our consumerism and conspicuous consumption),and we get to be more like rats in an overcrowded cage, running through an endless maze? I truly hope not.
27 November 2008
I do not feel anger, but only deep sorrow, that young men--almost boys- of 21 or so, should perpetrate these kind of acts, when they should be spending time on growing up.
My prayers go out to the brave Mumbaikars. May the nightmare end soon.
23 November 2008
1. WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE? Yes. My paternal grandmother.
2. WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? Today, after reading someone’s blog.
3. DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Sort of.
4. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE LUNCH MEAT? Meat, fish, eggs--not fussy.
5. DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Yes, 3.
6. IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Maybe
7. DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Sometimes
8. DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yes.
9. WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? No—not now.
10. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE CEREAL? Breads-made of any cereal.
11. DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? No.
12. DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Hmmm. Yes.
13. WHAT IS YOUR FAVOURITE ICE CREAM? Anything but Vanilla.
14. WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Their expression.
15. RED OR PINK? Red.
16. WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVOURITE THING YOU LIKE ABOUT YOURSELF? Lots of things.
17. WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST ? My children when they aren’t around, my mother and my mum-in-law.
18. WHAT COLOUR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Violet sarong and black slippers.
19. WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Bread
22. WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? Gordon Lightfoot—‘If you could read my mind now’ on Youtube.
23. IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOUR WOULD YOU BE? Sea -green.
24. FAVOURITE SMELLS? Morning coffee, powdered cinnamon, jasmine or mahogany flowers on the night air and freshly grated lemon rind.
25. WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? A niece
26. DO YOU LIKE THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU? Yes.
27. FAVOURITE SPORTS TO WATCH? Nothing really, but will watch anything just to keep company.
28. HAIR COLOUR? Pepper dusted with salt.
29. EYE COLOUR? Almost black.
30. DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No.
31. FAVOURITE FOOD? Breads and Bengali sweet curd (mishti doi).
32. SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Happy endings.
33. LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? At the theatre? Quantum of Solace.
34. WHAT COLOUR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Light blue.
35. SUMMER OR WINTER? Cool weather.
36. FAVOURITE DESSERT? Fruity desserts of any kind, chocolatey desserts and Bengali sweets.
37. LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND ? Respond to what?
38. WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Just finished Inheritance of Loss.
39. WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? No mouse pad..
40. WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? ‘The Proof’ a sweet movie starring Gwyneth Paltrow and Anthony Hopkins. (this was done on 23rd)
41. FAVOURITE SOUND? A baby’s gurgling laugh.
42. ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Beatles.
43. WHAT IS THE FURTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? California, USA
44. DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? Well…..maybe singing
45. WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Bombay(was still Bombay then), Maharashtra, India.
Would anyone like to do this tag?
My oldest memory:
Going to nursery school in Bombay; being taken after school to an older cousin’s house, where I drew on their wall and was scolded for it.
Ten years ago:
My husband’s 50th birthday and when I told my husband that our now son-in-law wanted to marry our daughter.
My first thought this morning:
It’s a holiday and so I have more than an hour to spend online.
If you built a time capsule, what would it contain:
An 33rpm LP record—to show what that looked like, a newspaper (Nov. 5th 2008), an old book, a picture of our present picture tube PC and a couple of magazines—one news mag, one showing gadgets of today and one woman’s mag.
Has been full of events and has gone by at a crazy pace. The financial meltdown has been a big topic of discussion, as also the election. It’s an ok year.
14 years from now:
I hope that I am as ambulatory and healthy—mentally and physically—as I am today.
Now to tag 3 people--Mrs. T, Mallika and Dot?
22 November 2008
We had the LP of the Broadway show at home and were familiar with all the songs long before the movie came to India in '64/'65. I knew and loved all the songs. The subtle anti-war and not so subtle anti-racist attitudes in the movie resonated with me.
Then I got to watch the movie again when my mother got a DVD of the original movie. Somehow I never thought that it would be revived now, because the issues seemed to be from so long ago and so was really surprised to hear about the revival. I have heard some of the songs on online radio.
After my post on Bigotry and some of the comments, particularly Usha's comment, this song from 'South Pacific' came to mind---
To hate and fear
You've got to be taught
From year to Year
It's got to be drummed
in your dear little ear
You've got to be carefully taught
You've got to be taught
To be Afraid
Of people whose eyes
are oddly made
And people whose skin
Is a different shade
You've got to be carefully taught
You've got to be taught
Before it's too late
Before you are 6 or 7 or 8
To hate all the people
your relatives hate
You've got to be carefully taught.
Well, still relevant I think.
06 November 2008
For people like me, there were several events that I never thought would take place in my lifetime. But this is one of three events which, to me, signal hope and the feeling that goodness can prevail. The first of the three events was the breaking of the Berlin Wall, then the dismantling of apartheid in South Africa and now this--that the US can elect a president without race getting in the way. Every time I think about it, it brings tears to my eyes.
Whether we like it or not, US values/attitudes/prevailing ethics, do have an impact on the rest of the world. In the last so many years--particularly from the Reagan era--there seems to have been a sharp rise of materialism, which permeated the whole world. I am not saying that the US is responsible for what the rest of us did; but somehow the message being conveyed, was that materialism was the only way to go. Barack Obama's election seems to bring back a warm fellow feeling for other people, a concern for each other, which is an essential in attempting to reverse the damage Man has done to Mother Earth, in his pursuit of this selfish materialism. Increased concern for others also brings hope for kindness to all people, irrespective of whether they believe in the same religion as you do or not.
Cheers to the American people.
04 November 2008
02 November 2008
This is one of the smallest butterflies in my garden and on a really small flower.
Now for the creepy looking thing below....
It's a pupa that we saw on a mango leaf at school.
Can you see how the web around the erstwhile caterpillar is the exact same green of the mango leaf? What really excited me was the fact that there is a rib along the middle that is just like the rib of the mango leaf. The teacher who was showing the kids different leaves, didn't even notice it, till she touched the leaf and felt it was something soft, it was so beautifully camouflaged. Most pupae hide under leaves. But this is so blends into the background, that it can afford to be on top of the leaf.
01 November 2008
26 October 2008
24 October 2008
17 October 2008
Anyway, one thing I should mention--when I told my husband (on our way back from the funeral) he bristled mildly on my behalf and told me "No, no, you haven't put on any weight or anything. She was just being mean." which was very sweet of him :)
16 October 2008
09 October 2008
05 October 2008
01 October 2008
When I watched the US House of Representatives vote on the bailout bill, just as I watched our Lok Sabha vote on the Confidence motion in this Government around 2 months back. Both were unthinkable even 10 years back;
When I went online and talked to family half way across the world and could see them and talk to them with almost no lag;
When I thought of the fact that I have gotten acquainted with and made friends with people from so many different countries and living so far away from me;
When I found that I could listen to music from way before I was born, all lovingly preserved and then uploaded to the Internet;
And of course whenever I have gone to the Internet for information on anything, from how to wrap a present, to recipes local and international, to pictures, to meanings of words, to health issues--you name it. Once that would have meant referring to so many different books and probably in so many different places, now all available at my finger tips--literally.
I know that there are many negatives as well. But at present--maybe because there are no young children in this house--I see only the positives.
26 September 2008
I realised that I pay way too much attention on self-improvement, on becoming the 'perfect' me. But then again, a person actually has complete control only over oneself. There have been times in my life when I have felt that I had no control over many of the happenings in my life. But I knew that I could always have control over me.
But , I so often wish my mind would be still, without the constant barrage of critical appraisal going on for each of my actions--'That was a dumb thing to do'; 'What a stupid thing to say'; 'This is pure drivel' [:(] There are moments of 'That came out good' positive stuff too. Sometimes I so desperately wish my mind would shut up and let me do something without any appraisal going on.
Anyway, at my age, there is one thing I realise, I have come to a pretty good acceptance of my physical self, which I probably achieved with all the self-talk. So, in everything there's some good and some bad and moderation is the key I suppose.
24 September 2008
When I see the suffering on the TV of those devastated by the floods, typhoons and the terror attacks I feel helpless and depressed. I know that I am not the kind who will jump onto thenext train for Orissa to go and help in person. I can at the most donate (you can find out about donating for Orissa here). But I do know that I too am responsible, in whatever small way, for the climate change that has brought on such devastating floods and upped the frequency and strength of typhoons.
So, I can do my little bit to try and reduce my impact on our planet. I can also do my bit in not letting myself get into a beleagured mentality, where one, out of fear, typecasts all those who maybe of the same religion/ethnicity of those who have perpetrated incidents hurtful to others. That is such an easy mentality to fall into when one feels helpless at hurtful incidents perpetrated by other people, which then leads to prejudices and intolerances.
"Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow
Into that heaven of freedom, let our world awake!
23 September 2008
So first I'll start with my Onam vacation. It was good. Having my daughter and grandson around was invigorating. We had wanted to do all the traditional things like put up a rope swing and put an athappoo (flower carpet) and fly kites and I had even got a kite. But it just poured!
For the days of Onam (10th to 12th) we went to a beachside resort. As the monsoon hasn't completely gone, there was very little beach due to the sea erosion. But my grandson was happy with the pool. Anway at least from Onam, for a week after, it stopped raining and we were able to enjoy the traditional Onam nilavu (moonlight). Onam itself was on Friday 11th. But then daughter & grandson had to go to away on Monday to her in-laws and so, when the breezes blew, he wasn't here to fly the kite.
We grandparents had a lovely time for sure and I know daughter did too. Grandson certainly looked like he had a good time--he told me today that he had told his teacher at Pre-school, all about his trip to his grandparents for his holiday. So that should mean he had fun :) Only wish I had thought of taking a picture of him in his Onam finery--mundu and jibba--a miniature version of this picture but without the shawl around the neck.
21 September 2008
08 September 2008
Schools here are closed for the Onam festival. So I'm on vacation. Both schools I go to had their Onam celebrations before school closed. One was on Friday and the other one on Saturday. AThapoo--flower carpets are an essential part of Onam. These are flower carpets done at the 2 schools. Everybody gets together to do this and the children have a lovely time, because you pull the flowers and leaves to pieces and then arrange them. They enjoy the pulling apart!
It so happens that my grandson has his vacation at the same time, although he doesn't live in Kerala. It turned out that way because our Onam is very late this year. So, my daughter and grandson are here for about a week. It's been a very long time since my daughter has been able to come and stay for a week--in fact not since she had her son I think. So she's really happy to be at home and realx and take it easy.
But---I may not be able to post (not that I've been posting that often recently). But I promise to post some pictures after they leave maybe.
04 September 2008
Walking beneath the stars always makes me feel close to the infinite. When I contemplate the vastness of space and think that here I am, a tiny spot in the universe it meakes me breathless at the thought of how small I am, yet a thinking, sentient being, who can think about what I see. Somehow in this feeling of being insignificant in relation to this whole universe, which I still a part of, makes me feel the presence of the Almighty, the Infinite, so much more.
03 September 2008
The purpose of the prize is to promote as many blogs as possible in the blogosphere. The rules are:
1. Put the logo on your blog;
2. Add a link to the person who awarded it to you;
3. Nominate 7 (minimum 5) other blogs;
4. Add links to them on your blog;
5. Leave a message for your nominee on their blogs.
Well, as had happened to Usha, happened to me too--many of my favourite blogs have already received the award, including Usha's :)
Here is my list then:
1. Annie Bluesky over at BlogU. She is amazing. She maintains 4 blogs actually, one a purely photgraphic blog, one a recipe blog, one of photographs and comments on her life in Florida and of course BlogU from where I got all the help in tweaking my blog.
2. Dot at Dot's Thoughts. She is one energetic senior! She maintains her blog as well as gardens, does carpentry, cooks and copes with life's difficulties cheerfully.
3. Desperately Seeking Serenity for her sharing of her personal growth and--in her own words--" Seeking world peace and personal tranquillity through words".
4. Beks over at Beks & Ro for so many reasons, one being that she is very special to me.
5. Deena at Can I be Pretty in Pink . She is a very brave lady, putting up a tough fight against the enemy of cancer.
6.Onedia's Bull Shoals Backyard Habitat for being a real 'greenie'. She certainly has beautifully designed blogs.
7. Rohini's Mama Says So, where Rohini shares her life as a busy working mother.
I am adding this blog of somebody dear who passed away a year ago, but was amazing in her ability to tackle new technology. She was almost 90 when she passed away.
Yet another brave lady's blog I want to add here is Literally Blind-sided and Bimbimbie from Australia--if you are interested in birdlife.
Hope the readers of this blog find these blogs as interesting--in content and/or design as I do.
30 August 2008
AT 7 pm it is really dark here (as it is the second half of the year). But I walk without a torch. There are a couple of porch lights and that's all. But I do love the dark. Besides since I have 2 doggie companions, I don't worry about snakes. Snakes are supposed to stay away with vibrations. So, since the younger dog (not mine, but from next door)being young and peppy, literally pounds the road, I bet the snakes keep far away.
Last night was pretty. The sky was very cloudy and there was far away lightning. At a particular spot on my walk, in a clump of trees, I saw these fairy lights blinking--fireflies. An owl hooted somewhere in the undergrowth. Beautiful! Unfortunately, my nose wasn't functioning too well. So can't tell you the scents.
Funny thing is I searched other areas for the fireflies, but I couldn't see them. It was probably because that was that was the only place-near tarmacked road--that was really dark.
01 August 2008
30 July 2008
28 July 2008
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake."
This poem is in the new song book at school and when I was re-reading this much loved poem, it made all the more heart-rending, all that has happened in India in the past few days--beginning from the 'Tamasha' in Parliament to the sadness of the bomb blasts. Tagore was against the idea of even Nationalism, believing truly in a world without borders. But oh oh, what our world has become, where intolerance for others who are different in thought (which comprises religion, politics, point of view) or speak a different language or look different, has increased.
But I do see a new hope dawning. Somehow, with the whole problem with climate change and how it is really affecting ALL of us, maybe the people of the world will be forced to accept that we are all one and truly need each other for our individual survival.
24 July 2008
The bottles all bobbed and floated downstream. The crystal bottles sparkled and shone in the sunlight; the coloured bottles diffused colour into the surrounding water, the bottles that once held sweet perfumes emanated a slight scent. Some of the bottles thought they were wonderful, some felt thy were plain and ugly and the Great Spirit saw this and smiled because they had all been filled from the same sweet water source.
As they all rushed along on their journey, some of the bottles smashed against rocks early into the journey, the water inside joining with that of the river. Some of the bottles got pulled down by weeds and plant roots; some got stuck on mud shoals, of which some got nudges from passing frogs and fishes or even other bottles and so managed to get back into the stream. Some went on far ahead, carried along by currents and some spun round and round, caught in whirlpools. All gave up the water inside, back into the Mighty River.
Of the many bottles that had started the journey together up in the hills, at the River's source, only some made it to the Great Sea, their sweet water mingling with the salt of the Sea. Only a very few realised that in reality they were all the same, because they had all been filled from the same source and made the same essential journey, with the essential purpose of giving back to the Great River the water they carried in them. Whatever the outer shape and colour, whether long or short the journey, whether the giving back to the River was sudden and catastrophic or gradually ebbing out, they were all of the same essence and the purpose of the journey was the same, to carry the sweet water, keeping it sweet as long as possible, and then giving it back to the River.
23 July 2008
20 July 2008
17 July 2008
I forgot to add Kunti Devi from Mahabharatha.
This tag I want Beks to do as also Geeta A J.
08 July 2008
Incidentally, we rarely use the ripe ones.
07 July 2008
This guy came into school, when we were going to start singing! He was a beautiful green and as we watched his tail started turning colour. But we had to chase him out before he completely turned colour.
This beautiful spider is just outside our mosquito netting and I don't have the heart to kill it, because it's so beautiful--a brilliant yellow, with black stripes--and makes a really intricate web. It's position just outside the netting is a terrific hunting ground--all those insects and mosquitoes trying to fly in!
04 July 2008
02 July 2008
On another note, I had got some pictures on my phone particularly of a lovely green chameleon; but I am unable to post because my regular computer is not working and to upload pictures on another computer means I have to go through the hassle of installing my phone and so on on another computer. Will post that picture as soon as I can.
29 June 2008
a book which I found very compelling when I read it, way back in my youth, about the aftermath of a nuclear holocaust. The story is based in Australia of the 60s (though published in 1957). As life as we know it breaks down, there is no more oil too. The story is one of despair though, as all life is extinguished gradually, due to radiation exposure.
But then, in contrast, I also now come across articles on alternate energy sources, about how so many people are coming up with newer ways of dealing with a life without petroleum and of newer ways to feed all the people on the planet and there is hope. But I do think that we have each of us to examine ourselves--if we are capable of it--and see how we can change our lives, albeit in small ways, to tackle the future, a future which maybe very different from what we were used to.
25 June 2008
I hope this is what you envisaged Mallika.
I am: me, mother, wife, sister, teacher; the sum of all these and yet not just that. There’s an inner me, irrespective of my life roles, added to the sum, growing, learning, just me.
I think: therefore I am. Sorry for the cliché; just wish that I was better adept at keeping my mind still.
I know: that I am only an ordinary woman but unique all the same.
I want: very little--in fact I really can't come up with what I want.
I have: a life for which I'm very grateful.
I wish: for peace on earth, for people everywhere to know each other's humanness.
I hate: unpleasant scenes. I am a total wimp.
I miss: my mother and my mum-in-law.
I fear: nothing really, because I'm pretty sure that, with my family, friends and my God, i can deal with most things.
I feel: content with my life, but not with me.
I hear: the sound of the drip. drip after a rain, the call of a crow pheasant--oop, oop, oop
I smell: wet wood
I crave: nothing
I search: for my glasses on a regular basis.
I wonder: if there is other life out there in the universe. When I look at the night sky especially, I am filled with wonder at the thought of the size of the universe and the thought that there maybe life out there.
I regret: not having done medicine
I love: the sound of the sea, toddlers everywhere, my family, the lick of a loving dog,....
I ache: in all my leg joints after being inactive for a bit
I care: about all my loved ones.
I am not: a wonderful person.
I believe: that I am a part of the universe, of the Infinite, and that It is a part of me.
I dance: when the music is my kind of music--oldies, well, if the music has a beat.
I sing: everyday
I cry : when I listen to beautiful instrumental music, when I sing songs my mother sang, when I'm very happy, when I empathize with someone else's unhappiness, but never when I'm in pain.
I don’t always : stand up for me.
I fight : my need to be appreciated all the time.
I write: badly
I win: my battles against irrationality
I lose: my courage when I have to scold people.
I never: run, when walking will just as well take me there.
I always: enjoy having 'alone' time.
I confuse: people's names.
I listen: to children. Youngsters are often talked down to, in a mixed age group. So I make it a point to listen to them as individuals.
I can usually be found: at home after 1 p.m.
I am scared: when I think that my children might have misfortunes.
I need: nothing really.
I am happy about: my family, the wonderful young people my children have married and I’m so proud of them all.
I tag Geeta AJ and Hiphop grandmom and anyone else who would like to do this tag.
22 June 2008
I found the article interesting because of the way the issue was handled. It led me to think about the whole gender issue.
I examined my own attitude to the whole sexuality issue and how I might react if one of my children were involved in such a situation. I came to the conclusion that at first an expression of sexuality different from the norm would be difficult to accept. But that, I might, for the love of my child, have accepted their choice, because I felt that the gender and sexuality of a person does not in anyway, reflect on the quality of their character. What I feel are the qualities of a good character (such an old fashioned word I guess) came from other qualities, like an acceptance of all humanity, genuineness, humankindness, charity in thought and deed.
So what do you think?
20 June 2008
Here's the poem
On His Blindness
17 June 2008
This young man was somebody who had worked in my house around 5 years back. He was with our family for a little over 3 years. His name was Santosh, which means content or happy. He certainly wasn't a content person. But he was generally a happy person considering his life and circumstances.
Santosh was from Bihar, but had gone to Delhi to his aunt, in search of work. It was from there, thorough a close relation of mine, that he came here, so far away from his home. He was sent to me because I can speak Hindi fairly easily, so that communication with him would not be a problem. When he came to work with me, he was about 19, though he looked around 15 at the most.
He told me that his father had died many years back, and that he had been an alcoholic. He said his mother too died soon after from some illness. He said that his paternal grandparents were also no more. There was just him, a younger brother and a sister, who was being looked after by his maternal grandparents, who continued to live in his village. He said he had drifted through many jobs, from his childhood, including working in a factory somewhere. But it was after a fight with his grandmother that he went away to Delhi.
He was illiterate and I did try to teach him to read Hindi with whatever material I could get. But I wasn't very successful as he seemed to have a learning problem.
all I was able to teach him was to write his name.
Being a happy-go-lucky young man, he wasn't weighed down with any of this. In the 3 years that he was here, he made a number of friends somehow, though the majority of them could not have been able to speak his language. [But then again, here in our state, most literate people can understand some Hindi.] But with his smile and wave, he made friends. Finally, it got to the point where we were known as 'the people from the house where Santosh lives'.
He had his faults, being irresponsible, with no thought of the morrow. I started a bank account for him, mainly so that he would not just fritter away his month's salary. But he was affectionate and when ever a guest came, was the first to ask what they would like to eat and was good at making Bihari food. His aloo parathas were delicious.
His attitude to the law was a little dubious, since he seemed to feel that the law was only for those who couldn't bribe their way out. He used to be quite amazed that we were law-abiding, when, in his opinion, we could just as well have circumvented it. As an example, at that time one of my nephews was not yet 18 and so could not get a driver's license, although he knew how to drive. So, after driving around the hill, (which is private property), he would park the car at our house, before walking down to the road. When Santosh was told that my nephew did this as he wasn't eligible for a license, he was absolutely shocked. 'Why can't he just drive anyway and pay a bribe to the policeman? After all, you people have money.' It took quite a bit of explaining to make him understand that we didn't do things that way in our families.
Anyway, after being away from his home for over 3 years, he wanted to go back to his people and after my sons' weddings, he left, promising to everyone that he would return after 5 or 6 years.
After he went back to Delhi, I heard about him from family that lived there. He drifted in and out of jobs, even going back to work in the fields in his village. But he was back in Delhi and it was there that he died, three months ago, apparently in an accident.
From what he had told me I doubted there was any one to really even mourn him properly. So I felt the least I could do was write about him. May his soul be at peace.
12 June 2008
This is what the tag is:
' But it was weirder that science fiction, it was hallucinatory. By the time we reached the terminal stop, I was ready to float off the train and drift across to my parents' house in a fit of transrational magic. It was extremely annoying to find that actually I had to use my feet to get down from the train. peyote and a teacher were both necessary to enter the world described the author. I had felt vaguely cheated.'
I don't much like tagging anyone. But maybe Hiphop Grandmom and Ageless Bonding and Onedia might like to do this?
05 June 2008
21 May 2008
The place was beautiful and the weather up in the hills was lovely. The extended weekend went by in a flash. We are all back at home in the humidity and heat. But it's lovely to have them all at home.
But, I'm now feeling low at the thought of my son having to go back in just another 9 days
13 May 2008
It was a warm muggy night with a hazy moon to shed some light. But the beauty was in the different scents that assailed my nostrils as I walked--white frangipani, white lilies and jasmine flowers, all at different spots along my walk. It more than made up for the stickiness and lack of breeze.
12 May 2008
11 May 2008
They'll learn much more than I'll never know
And I think to myself what a wonderful world,
I think to myself what a wonderful world"
I love being with young children, especially the from the time they start talking till around the age of 6 or 7. I have been teaching pre-school children off and on for over 20 years and now I have a pre-school grandchild.
What I find fascinating is watching a personality forming. Of course every new-born has it's own personality, it's own way of reacting to the world around it. No 2 new-borns are the same in the way they react to externals. But what is fascinating is watching how these personalities develop and grow and solidify. We, as teachers, try to mould their personalities, within their preferred ways of reacting to the world, so that they grow up to be people who can face the world with an inner strength.
As we live in a small town, we often get to watch our ex-students grow up. Now many of our ex-students are parents themselves and some of them have brought their children to our pre-school. To me that is even more fascinating as we see these young adults who we knew so well when they were 3 and 4!
What I have found most interesting is that the judgement we form of the child's personality when he/she leaves our school--usually around age 4 or 5--is what that person's personality is basically like when they become adults. We have had so many of the parents and children say that they have kept their reports and looked at it much later and found how true our assessments of their personalities were. I have seen children grow, rebel, seem totally different from what they were, but eventually come back to their essence, the essence that we saw at age 3/4/5.
I don't know whether all this is making sense and whether it is interesting to anyone else. but for me it gives me great joy and is, for me, one of the reasons I love my job. I think a teacher's job, especially of the younger children, is always one of hope for the future, because even if 2 of a class of 25 have that inner spark it spells so much hope for the future and you wait with bated breath for them to be adults. Besides, it is always exciting for me to think that here are these children I love and teach, and each year a new batch and they are going to be living in a world I may never see even and I see that as a direct connection to the future.
06 May 2008
29 April 2008
28 April 2008
This is the tag:
If you could spend an entire day with any five people who are now living*
• who would they be
• why would you choose each person in the group
• how would you like to spend the day with them
• where would you like to spend the day with them
(*Note: Do not include family, friends, or co-workers, fictional characters, or deceased persons.)
The five people that I would chose to spend an entire day with would be Oprah Winfrey, the Dalai Lama, Sir Paul McCartney, the girls Vandana & Vaishnavi of Banyan, and—I know I’m kind of not following the rules of the tag here—Onedia, Mary Ann, Mallika and Dot (you are all blog friends, and at present I don’t have any chance of spending time with any of you.)
With Oprah I would like to be able to be part of the audience at one of her shows, spend part of the day with her, so as to see how she spends her day and to get to chat with her. I do not watch the Oprah show (not a big TV viewer), but read about things she did/said and watched her show when I visited the US in 1986. Have been watching her meteoric rise and have been impressed by the fact that she seems to have stayed true to herself through all the fame and fortune.
Spending a day with the Dalai Lama for me would mean going to McLeodganj (where he stays in India), maybe be a part of a group meeting him, listen to a discourse maybe and just be a part of the ashram he is staying at.
Spending time with Sir Paul McCartney would mean for me, to be able to watch a practice session or a jamming session. Actually it need not be Paul M himself. I would gladly spend the day with any classical musician, getting ready for a concert. What an experience to sit quietly watching a wonderful musician practising for the concert till he/she feels they are perfect!
If you follow the link to Banyan, you will see how wonderful these young women Vandana & Vaishnavi are. I would want to spend a day at Banyan to see what these amazing young women do and helping out at the Banyan.
Actually, this covers 5 people. But anyway, I would love to spend a leisurely day with my blog friends, chatting and singing and meandering down green paths.
27 April 2008
Hip Hop Grandmom had tagged me to name 5 of my own posts with the following criteria: the five have to be about
5)Anything I like (my favourite post)
1)Family:- This post about my father's demise is the one I chose.
2)Friends: Well I have never written about the friends I have, who are not part of blog world, because I felt that I have no right to write about them, where they can't see what I've written. Otherwise, my best friends are in my family. So for this one I cheated a bit and I have chosen a post from the family blog about 2 friends!
3)Myself: The post I chose about growing old.
4)My love: Well my loves would include family, animals, the world outside my window....
But I have chosen 2 posts for this section about 2 people I love/d very much--the first one and the second one
5)Anything I like: Can't choose a favourite post. But this post I liked when I re-read it today.
As usual, I am not tagging anybody. But feel free to do the tag, if you wish.
24 April 2008
Today my grandson left to spend a couple of days with his other grandparents, before his parents fetch him on Sunday. So I got the time to get a new keyboard, to post on my blog, to slowly catch up on other stuff that needs to be done.
But I miss him!
20 April 2008
11 April 2008
In India, turning 60--finishing 60 years on this earth--is a big milestone.
"In a hundred-year time scale of man’s life, pre-sixty is a period of materialistic pursuit while the post–sixty span is slated for spiritual endeavour." [ from acharyaonline.com]
There are many rituals associated with turning 60 that are observed as part of 60th birthday celebrations among the Hindus, including a remarriage. In our Indian Christian traditions, we do not have any particular rituals associated with it, but among us too, the 60th birthday is considered a milestone.
"The householder is said to relieved of his social – secular obligations"
After this, one could leave and go away to pursue spiritual matters if one so wished.
But in my husband's case, he is certainly not planning to go away, and he considers himself very young yet. So we'll just have the big, raucous party.
Therefore, as I'll be busy till said party, apart from the fact that children and grandchild will also be here, I may be off the Net for a bit. Will try and keep up with blog reading though--I hope.
08 April 2008
1. A few days back, I heard noisy screams coming from the wooded area behind the house and increasing in volume. The whole thing sounded quite desperate. Thinking that maybe a mongoose or even a crow had got hold of a smaller bird I ran out to help the victim. Aggressors--2 mynah birds, victim--one woodpecker! The pair would not let the woody go till I made a big noise.
2. On Sunday we were out near the backwaters. As I watched I saw a mynah bird with, of all things, a crow quill feather in it's beak. It looked really funny. Along came another one to try and snatch the feather. After much tugging, the feather fell down to the ground. The first mynah waited a bit till mynah no.2 decided to abandon the feather and then came down and flew off triumphantly with it.
3. Yesterday afternoon hearing a lot of noise at the front of the house I went to the window. 2 males/females were attacking each other with great vigour and one had the other pinned to the ground. So I went out to break it up. By the time I got out the mates of both got into the act and they started attacking each other, with the decibel climbing quite high. The 2 pairs of fighters were so engrossed in their fight and their screaming, that I had to go close to get them to leave each other and move off. Finally one pair flew off and the other pair walked around down. I swear I could hear muttering and cursing! The fighters--again mynah birds.
It's nesting season people!
Picture from wikimedia
05 April 2008
- LAST MOVIE YOU SAW IN A THEATRE
- WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING
'Conversations with God' by Neale Walsch
- FAVORITE BOARD GAME
- FAVORITE MAGAZINE
Good Housekeeping, Online webzines of all types
- FAVORITE SMELLS
- FAVORITE SOUND(s)
The sound of the sea, call of the magpie robin
- WORST FEELING IN THE WORLD
Watching your child suffer.
- THE FIRST THING YOU THINK OF WHEN YOU WAKE?
Now what do I have to do?
FAST FOOD PLACE
Dosa places—(there are only Indian fast food places here)
- FUTURE CHILD’S NAME
Have one grandchild. No future name ideas, ‘cos it’ll be left to the parents to decide:)
- FINISH THIS STATEMENT: If I had a lot of money….
Probably travel, give away some to charity.
- DO YOU DRIVE FAST
- DO YOU SLEEP WITH A STUFFED ANIMAL
No my husband does (called hillgrandmom)
- STORMS COOL OR SCARY
Depends on the storm.
- YOUR FIRST CAR
The first car I ever drove was a Fiat.
- FAVORITE DRINK
- FINISH THIS STATEMENT: If I had the time I would…..
I have all the time.
- DO YOU EAT THE STEMS ON BROCCOLI?
Well, broccoli is not something we see here, so the nearest would be cauliflower and that I do eat the stems of.
- IF YOU COULD DYE YOUR HAIR ANY COLOR, WHAT WOULD BE YOUR CHOICE?
- NAME ALL THE DIFFERENT CITIES/TOWNS YOU HAVE LIVED IN.
- FAVORITE SPORT TO WATCH
Not a big sports enthusiast, but if at all, preferable gymnastics, snychro swimming or anything with dance like routines
- ONE NICE THING ABOUT THE PERSON WHO SENT THIS TO YOU
She’s really smart!
- WHAT'S UNDER YOUR BED?
- WOULD YOU LIKE TO BE BORN AS YOURSELF AGAIN?
I don’t know. Depends on what my soul feels like then!
- MORNING PERSON, OR NIGHT OWL
Night owl totally.
- OVER EASY, OR SUNNY SIDE UP
If you mean how I like my eggs, any which way is fine. I LOVE EGGS
- FAVORITE PLACE TO RELAX
If it’s in my house, then it’s in my room, by the window.
- FAVORITE PIE
Apple pie, with lots of cinnamon.
- FAVORITE ICE CREAM FLAVOR
Real fruit flavoured ones.
- OF ALL THE PEOPLE YOU TAGGED (with this)WHO'S MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND FIRST?
Don’t tag anyone usually. So any one who wants to take up this tag!
01 April 2008
The power of the present,
Do you ever stop to think of it?
The very words I've written here,
Are now in my past.
I may rewrite the words,
Redo the rhythm;
But that moment is gone,
Never to return,
But each moment that passes
Is only a physical ageing.
The moment in time is gone,
'Tis true I will never be younger,
By even a moment.
But, for the Me I am,
My inner me,
The Who I am,
The passing of each moment
Is a growth.
I can undo,
and become more
of Who I am
Till my last living breath.
31 March 2008
A photo I was able to take a little while back. You can get an idea of how tiny the flowers are. Yet how much fragrance they release!
25 March 2008
I realise I am truly lucky to live in and work in beautiful surroundings. Both around my house and the schools I work at, are many trees, full of the common birds of our part of the world. Yesterday and today, at school, while looking out at the trees I spied so many birds and felt so grateful to my Creator that I had the opportunity to see these creatures.
I am at present invigilating the mandatory school-leaving public exams. The hall in which the children write their exams is surrounded by many trees, which are full of bird life. Now that the unseasonal rains are over, the birds are out in large numbers. Yesterday, just before I left the hall at around 5 p.m. I spied a black-headed oriole and felt truly blest. The plumage is such a brilliant golden colour and the head so black as in the pictures I had put in this post . It was a beautiful sight. I also saw a pair of tree pies fighting for a piece of twig, really amusing!.
A treepie. The bird is an average size. The tail is long and very attractive.
Then today I spied a pair of green barbets eating the tiny fruit of some tree. There were a pair of magpie robins too, who had obviously built a nest somewhere nearby, because I had heard their sweet sounds every afternoon, during the examinations, for the past so many days.
A magpie robin. He's a small guy and has a really sweet warble.
Can you spy the barbet in among the leaves? This is the way I usually spy the bird, in my guava tree or on the cinnamon tree, when it comes to eat the fruit.
All of these are beautiful and I really feel lucky I get to see them almost on a daily basis.
(All the pictures are from wikimedia)
24 March 2008
19 March 2008
18 March 2008
Well anyway, the recession in the US seems to sucking in and pulling down the markets of many other countries--really a global world. Since that is my husband's main interest and the source of our incomes--now that he is retired--that naturally there is a great deal of talk about it in our house. Has the financial downturn affected any of you?