14 December 2010

Why is it that some people are so judgemental about someone else's perceived misdeeds, but can never see it when they themselves do the same deeds? I have so often heard folks cut up someone else (behind their backs of course!) for behaving in a certain way/doing certain deeds. Then, when they behave in the very same way themselves, they get so upset if they are judged negatively for said deeds. Is it that some people just cannot put themselves in the other person's shoes? Is it that they feel that they are somehow more superior and hence they ought not to be judged but they have the right to judge? Maybe these people have never learnt--as we were repeatedly taught-- that when pointing a finger at someone, four fingers point to oneself .
It is so easy to be judgemental, it seems.

05 December 2010

Sadness

I'm sorry that the reason for posting again is not a good one.  I heard today about a marriage breaking up and one I did not think would and I felt so heartsick, that I hurt physically. 
It made me wonder about the nature of marriage and what do marriages that last and are relatively peaceful have, that makes them go on. 
In our days, at least here in India and through the East I think, we felt that marriage was for ever and that one stayed in it come what may.  To some extent this attitude was helpful in keeping the marriage craft afloat through turbulences, so that you could get through to more calm waters and better scenery.   What do people in the marriage boat have to do to steer their craft safely through shoals, turbulences, whirlpools and without trying to remain stuck at a beautiful scene (because the craft must move on too).  To me, one of the most important things would be that there is mutual respect and a gut understanding that both parties in the marriage/relationship are essential for the craft's safe steering (sorry for continuing the analogy, but it seems to fit). 
What do you feel--young and not so young?

03 December 2010

After one month!

I just realised yesterday, that I hadn't posted for over a month!  I guess that I've been spending whatever computer time I got last month, in planning a family holiday for next summer--with children and grandchildren.  I think I've had so much fun planning the holiday, that even if we don't go on the kind of holiday I planned, I wouldn't feel I'd wasted my time :-)   With the Internet it is so much fun and so much easier to find out details.  Earlier, one would have to go sit in the travel agent's office for days at a time and mostly we would have to take what they--travel agents--had to offer.  Isn't it great how the Net has given us freedom of choice?
The Net and what it can do in making choices, in shaping opinion too has been so apparent in the last few days especially, post the Radia tapes.  It's wonderful that so many young people are taking such an active interest in all that is happening and I don't think that would have happened without the Internet.  I feel that this was not the case even a decade back, without Twitter and so much easier access to the Internet.
Well, since this is a random post, I feel I should add that I didn't post because I didn't have anything to post about.  I lead a fairly boring, predictable life and hence nothing to post about.  I had nothing to post about even in my nature blog.  Hopefully there will be more stuff to blog about this month.

31 October 2010

Is being a good cook an essential part of being a woman/mother/wife?
I am not a great cook and certainly not an enthusiastic one. I do what I have to. But when my children were small, I made cakes and snacks and whatever, depending on their tastes that changed with their ages. And, probably, the only thing that mattered was the love that went into it. Otherwise, I always preferred other house chores. If there were extended family celebrations/get-togethers, I was the first to volunteer to look after all the young children around, so their mums could do other stuff around the house. I was always a willing child-minder. But for cooking, I always had to pour some serious iron into my will! To this day, the only times I don't mind cooking is if one of my family is sitting around in the kitchen and talking to me, or if I have some youngster helping me cook, like in the recent past, when my grandson helped me bake a cake.

15 October 2010

I had gone to spend  last weekend in Chennai as it was my granddaughter's first birthday during the week.  I had just got back Monday and planned on blogging about my pleasant weekend.  But then on Tuesday morning I heard that my youngest maternal uncle, the last surviving member of my mother's family, had passed away and that the funeral was on Wednesday, in Bangalore.  So it was that my husband & I drove to Bangalore staying overnight on the way there and back and got back just this evening.
My uncle was the youngest of eight and a sweet person, a loving husband, a good father and a great grandfather, as one of his grandsons said in a speech about him.  My best memories of him are when he came visiting my mother, just about a month before she died. He will be missed, but I do think that he was quite ready to go.  May he rest in peace.

05 October 2010

Looks like my last post either had very few readers or I have surprised/shocked/offended some readers and or blog friends! (Or I'm being incredibly self-absorbed to think that what I say is actually important to any one.)


27 September 2010

My beliefs

After reading Pseudo's blog post, I thought about my own beliefs and felt like blogging about it.

I am a strong believer in a higher power (which may just be the power of all the good thoughts of humanity). But to me this higher power is not someone/something that can be neatly codified and labeled as this or that. In my view, when somebody professes to believe in God, the absolute given is that God is much more than any human being. Therefore, how can anyone one of us human beings presume to quantify this Power.

Religions have always reminded me of the story of the elephant and the eight blind men,. a commonly told story in India. To me each religion is a way of trying to make sense of the unknown and the part of the higher power that a particular group of people have come into contact with. But that higher power is much more than that.

Another point I feel strongly about is, that my relationship to God/the Power is a totally private matter. I do not need someone to intervene for me or give me specifics on how I can communicate or not with God. I pray/have mental conversations, whatever I may feel like at the moment and there have been times when there have occurred happenings that have made me feel "that is truly grace" for which I am oh so grateful. But having had those moments of grace, I feel, does not give me the right to tell anyone else to believe in the same kind of higher Power that I do believe in, believe the same way as I do or communicate as I do.
'Love thy neighbour as thyself' sums it up for me.
Having said all of the above, I do hope, as this blogger says, that this post does not cost me some of my bloggy friends and that I do not offend any other readers.

25 September 2010

The only photos I took on my impromptu weekend holiday.  You can just about see the sea behind the sandbar, visible through the trees.





22 September 2010

I can't believe that I haven't posted  for more than a month on this blog!  But so many events happened during this time, which kept me away from blogging.  All I had time for--when I got at a computer at all--was usually just enough to catch up on mail and a some of the blogs on my blog roll.  Now at last life seems to be settling down.
I have also come back from a short holiday, which was lovely and all the more because it was sudden decision on the part of my husband.  As he is not at all given to that kind of thing, (specially as he has grown older), it made it even more exciting for me !  The place was so relaxing, the weather pleasant and, to top it all, I had a wonderful back and shoulders massage from the Ayurvedic clinic there (ubiquitous now in Kerala).  The place was here though we didn't stay right in those floating cottages.
So now, I hope to post more often.

16 August 2010

Yes friends, I'm alive!!
I have been having guests.  Two of my brothers from the US visited with me back to back (one came and the day he left, the other one came).  It was good to have them with me and while my younger brother visited, we sang all the old songs.
Now my son is here and very soon the family, as there are some weddings coming up.  And then it is Onam, our lovely Kerala festival.  So probably very little blogging after that.  I will put up pictures of our flower carpet (athapoo) after our school Onam celebrations on Wednesday.

24 July 2010

Random post

Among other reasons for not being a regular in blogworld is my personal trainer!  When I come back from work at lunch time, she feels I should be out playing.  Post lunch and her lunch, she may allow me a bit of a sit down.  Then again it's time for a walk and playing catch and then getting dinner ready.  No sitting down allowed!!  So blog world gets sidelined :-)
I am such a big fan of modern technology, the Internet most of all.  Recently, an old room-mate from my college hostel, who I haven't seen for 40 years, got in touch with me through a website.  She was from Fiji and so I never thought that I would ever be able to find her or get in touch with her.  So it was such a wonderful surprise to get her mail.  Similarly, through this same website, a classmate of mine from school got in touch with me a while back and she I saw last in 1966!  The wonders of modern technology.

03 July 2010

June was really a busy month , particularly socially.  There were 2 out-of-town birthday parties.  One was grandson's 5th and since it was a Sunday, and he was so keen to have us, we went.  The other was a close family member's 60th birthday and so we went out of town for that too and that was the next weekend after that.
Then there were sundry other events as well and of course the first month of the school year here.  But most of all, one of the biggest reasons for not doing much in blog world were the frequent power outages.  You start doing something, the power goes off and the first thing that goes off is the internet connection.  We do have a generator, but it can't support 2 computers and since my hubby is on it continuously--working from it, I switch mine off.  But soon after everything is switched off and the generator started, the power comes back on.  This kept happening so often, it was most cheesing off and so all I did was a quick checking of mail on hubby's comp, as when there was time & his comp was free.
Not seeing me online, blog friend Mallika of Eve's Lungs called me wondering what had happened.  Thanks Mallika.
Anyway, now the power situation seems a bit better and too, I am here all the weekends in this month and so  there's enough time for blog world :-)

24 June 2010

It's pretty difficult being a liberal in a small town!

 Yesterday there was a debate organized at the local YWCA, the topic being cohabitation/pre-marital sex, in the light of a verdict which had been given by the Supreme Court in the quashing of a large number of cases against the actress Kushboo.  [Here is the front page of the Hindu paper after the verdict.]
There were 2 speakers each, for and against 'cohabitation', one a lawyer and one a lay person.  I was the non-lawyer speaker in defence of the Supreme Court verdict and co-habitation.  I can tell you, I was really in a funk at the thought of doing that.  I know that my non-Asian blog friends would probably not understand that at all!! Anyway, at the start of the debate I was surprised to hear the moderator say that she had been specifically asked to clarify that what the speakers say, should not be taken to be their actual opinions.  Now it's true I had worried, but I didn't think it necessary to make such a qualification.  Obviously, the young advocate who was in my team, had asked for that clarification to be made.

Finally, after the debate was over, nobody in the small audience even wanted to vote.  The moderator finally got them to vote by asking everyone to close their eyes and then raise their hands for the side they thought had won.  As you can imagine the other side won.  Later somebody came and congratulated me at having been able to defend the idea at all.  I am sorry to say *in a blue funk* that I did not see fit to disabuse  her on that point.  There was not one woman present, who was even willing to say that it should be left to the discretion of the people getting into such a relationship.  I realised, a little sadly, that there was not a single person I knew, of my age certainly, to whom I would even be able to say what I really thought on the matter--there is just no place for even a discussion on such a topic. I realised too, that I was probably one of the very few women they could get to even ask to defend the topic (something to be proud of ?).

As to my view--I don't know if I would have opted for a live-in relationship in my time, but I very certainly do not condemn somebody who chooses such a relationship, if there is commitment on both sides.  Besides, I truly feel it is none of my @#*...business anyway.  Whatever, here's to being open-minded.

06 June 2010

Sometimes distractions are the only way to go when there are problems you cannot solve--problems that are other people's maybe, but that upset you nevertheless.

28 May 2010

Further unbloggable conversations have lead me to feel..
1. Grateful for the kind of person my husband is--open-minded and flexible in his thinking;
2. Grateful for the good relationship I had with my mother, which I see is really very precious and which has given me the ability to maintain a good relationship with my own daughter;
3. That not being overly possessive of one's children helps a great deal in having workable relationships with one's children-in-law (is that so dear DIL?);
4.That I am much more deeply feminist than I probably appear to be--I truly do believe in the equality of male and female--one maybe from Mars and the other from Venus, but they are still equal!!
5. That as I have grown older, things that earlier made me upset/depressed no longer bother me that much. I am also grateful for the kind of lifestyle and for having learnt when to let go and what to let go off, which has helped me reach a kind of serenity, not-withstanding the occasional bouts of depression arising from self-criticism. Of course I am basically a 'live and let-live' kind of personality, which probably makes it easier for me.
I am also grateful that I got this opportunity to appreciate my husband and my relationship with my mother--both of which (yes *sigh*)I had largely taken for granted.

21 May 2010

A couple of conversations I had today --about certain unbloggable stuff--made me realise, how easy it is to hurt a person with words and how deep such wounds can be and how some people can then say, 'I didn't mean it like that, I said it in the heat of the moment' and think that, by saying these words, the scar from the words should be erased *pouf* gone! Wounding words especially leave a much deeper scar, when said to people close to you and most of all I think to children, especially one's own children, while they are little and even, I think, when said children are adults. I do think that the sayer of the nasty words, by sincerely apologising and by admitting that it was hurtful of them to have said what they did, can probably assuage the hurt a little, but can't completely heal, unless a great deal of effort is made by the person who was hurt.
I also feel that often, it may be easier to be hurtful, lash out, when one is hurt or worried, rather than take the time to think of the consequences of just spilling out the words in their heads! I think too--sadly--that it is much easier to put ourselves into the shoes of friends, colleagues, anyone outside family, and so contain wounding words, than we do to family members; probably the reason why, for many, it is easier to maintain friendships than to maintain good family relationships. To put oneself into one's child's shoes, is I think the most difficult, especially when they are little; because all parents know they know more than the child and they feel they are acting/saying/doing what is best for/protecting/ the child and/or bringing up the best child around. I do think the world would be a better place if more people paid attention to these words by Kahlil Gibran

Your Children are not Your Children

They are the sons and daughters of life's longing for itself.
They come through you but not from you,
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.

You may give them your love but not your thoughts,
For they have their own thoughts.
You may house their bodies but not their souls,
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.

You may strive to be like them, but seek not to make them like you.
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday.




words which are embedded deep inside me.
Maybe if we tried more often, to treat family members as we would our friends, maybe family relationships would become better!


10 May 2010

Continuation of the last time :-)

So I met B's nook again at a baptism, as she had told me she would be there and exchanged notes. I found she's only as old as my daughter. She said she was an enthusiastic blogger, but unfortunately, I couldn't find her blog on her profile. She told me that she maintains a cooking blog. B, it was really lovely talking to you. Sorry I couldn't meet you again.

21 April 2010

Strange encounter of the blog kind

Went for a typical Kerala Christian engagement lunch. A large group of people all dressed up. While making polite conversation a pretty young thing comes up and asks about my daughter-in-law. I smile, "How..." "I read her blog--and yours". I am zapped, so zapped that I did not ask her name or where she lives. I did ask what her nom de plume might be, which she told me but I didn't quite catch.
So, pretty young woman, if you are reading this, sorry I seemed so lost and it was nice to meet you.

11 April 2010

A little body curled trustingly in the crook of my arm
Brings back memories, powerful body memories;
A surge of love flows out
And surrounds the little form.

25 March 2010

This article in NY Times, makes me wonder where America--at least Republican America--is headed. Do they know they sound uncivilized and thoroughly undemocratic? I'm sure that there are very few countries where there are rightfully elected governments, where these kinds of threats from opposition parties would be made at all, let alone be condoned. Besides, if such threats had been issued in another country, by a party in opposition, to a legislation passed by the country's elected government, USA would be the first to decry such behaviour as undemocratic!!
It just makes me feel sad that a country which other countries looked up to--in a very distant past though that maybe--as a champion of democracy and right to think as one wishes, has come to this.

19 March 2010

I've been hibernating I guess (cos it's sooo hot here). My children and grandchildren were here for a visit; we went to visit the children too. Then after children & granddaughter from the US of A left, there was a school annual day, a puppy who was feeling very neglected (no time to spare for her with grandkids around), a cracked toe(although I don't type with my toes), which somehow meant my creative juices were just so dry and all I did in front of the computer was veg out playing games!!
My toe is getting better, school day is over and now that I have organized time for puppy to get sufficiently tired, I have no excuses left not to blog. So , care of Usha over at Agelessbonding who gave me a lovely award way back on Feb 23rd, here I am giving you 7 random facts about me, as accepting the award entail that. Since I have been blogging for 4 years now, I can't think what there is about me that I would not have already blogged about.
Anyways here goes:-
1. I have been keeping my hair short, getting shorter all the time, the last few years( so short that one of our society ladies asked me had I cut my hair or was it because of something else). The reason I have it short is cos I find that long hair gives me migraine in the heat. Besides, I don't dye my hair and can't see myself doing it ever and I love grey hair cut well.
2. Cigarette butts make me feel physically sick! Yuck, yuck, yuck. Luckily my husband doesn't smoke. Unfortunately some of my youngsters do and I tell them 'please, please, smoke outside & clean the butts yourself'.
3. My favourite childhood character was Enid Blyton's Mr. PinkWhistle, who went around doing good, while invisible. To this day, I think that is a terrific idea and I wish I could become invisible too.
4. If I had a chance I would be an animal whisperer. I love animals, rather that should be clarified to all mammals, (except rats) and am fascinated by other animals too.
5. I am lazy--tremendous inertia to start anything.
6. I'm not a big fan of air-conditioning, however hot--or cold. I like a bit of fresh air.
7. My idea of a really good time is being near the sea and lying/sitting with my feet up, reading with the sound of the sea in the background, or just watching the waves.
I don't think any of this is earth-shaking stuff, anyway....
Usha I don't think I'll tag anyone particularly. But the award goes to each one of the people on my fave blogs list, because they are, each one of them, so creative in their own ways--beautiful photography, interesting attitudes, wonderful ideas, all there. Some of them--like Usha, Hiphopgrandmom & Jane have already been given the award. So to all the others, I pass on the Creative Blogger award.

20 February 2010

I was looking through some of what I saved on my comp, wondering what I could junk, and came across this.......
"One of the dangers in any kind of eldercare program is that caregivers may “infantilize” the elderly, forgetting that, even with childlike needs, they are still adults, according to Sonia Salari, a specialist in aging and intergenerational issues at the University of Utah. Baby talk, nicknames, scolding, time-outs and silly d├ęcor may be appropriate for children, but directed at elderly adults, Ms. Salari argues, they are a form of abuse." This is from here.
I noted this down when I came across it, because this is something I feel strongly about. I have seen various older people (not necessarily very old) in the evenings of their lives and have noticed this tendency to 'infantilize' them. I particularly remember one old lady, who had been one of the earliest gynaecologists, probably, in our state. She had had a stroke and must have been in her late 80s. We were visiting her and I remember somebody was trying to cajole her into eating, just like one would with a small child. This incident must have taken place atleast 20 years ago. I can still remember the look in her eyes, helpless (beause she could no longer talk) at the the indignity she felt.
I tried never to do that with my father during his dementia times. Sometimes it is very difficult, especially when the person does not want to eat the food he/she should, or do something they ought to but won't. It is also very difficult to hold on to your irritation. I absolutely agree on that point and that to keep one's equilibrium, one needs help in dealing with an old person in that stage. But if we would imagine ourselves in that place even once, we might find it easier to treat that older person as an adult (unless of course they have always been the infantile, immature kind of person!).

10 February 2010

windows of my mind

I was reading Amy Tan--'The Opposite of Fate'--which is a collection of writings on herself. In it I came across a description of the windows of her study, to quote "It's three bay windows overlook neighbourhood rooftops and face north toward water and mountains." This description reminded me so much of this post of mine. It seemed to me that it was just like what I have always imagined the windows of my mind to be! So I revisited the room of my mind after a long, long while and I found the windows wide open and the room bright and swept clean, full of light. This time there are thin white curtains pulled open at the windows and they flutter in the gentle breeze blowing in. I am quite surprised to see that there are no shadows anywhere. There is no clutter, absolutely minimalist, the way I really like my surroundings to be.
How are the windows of your mind today?

02 February 2010

Continuation of last post

I suppose I have been thinking about death also because it will be my mother's 3rd death anniversary on Feb 13th, but for which we plan to have the prayer earlier--on Feb 6th.
Recently I thought about the passing away of my parents and felt that I had been lucky to be there with both of them at the end of their lives, that they did not have to die alone, without any familiar faces around.
Of course, my mother's death was so sudden--although she was 89, she was so all there in every way, even up to just half an hour before she actually passed away. Whereas, at my dad's passing away in May 2006, I was glad that I really got to say good bye to him, as well as to tell him it was ok to go.
For me personally, when I think about the time that I will die, if I could choose, I would not want it to be a sudden death, because I know how difficult that is for the people left behind--usually leaving a feeling of a lot of unfinished business.

14 January 2010

I have recently started reading 'Tuesdays with Morrie'. Morrie's conversations about death and dying brought back to me a conversation I had had with my mother about death, maybe a couple of months before she died. We had the conversation while she was in hospital with a bad bout of infected diverticulitis. She told me...
"When one is very young, death seems so far away and a child is so very scared of death. When one is a youth, a person feels invincible and feels death will never come to her/him. Later, when you move into the real business of living, especially as a family person, you are so busy with the nitty-gritty of living, you don't give death more than a passing thought and there is rarely any time to even feel scared about it. But there comes a time when you are older (she was 89 then), when one welcomes the idea of death and it is no longer something to be scared about, but something inevitable, which is accepted as such and even to look forward to." It really made me see where she was at that moment and certainly gave me a great deal of strength.
I have already reached the age where I no longer fear death.

12 January 2010

There's nothing like interacting with young children, to learn to live in the moment! Being with them is living moment to moment, with the past a blur and the future hazy and totally unpredictable. And when your day ends, all you know is the day is over, but the details of the day completely escape you!
Now the young ones are gone and I am slowly settling into my slow routine. But, as always, I think of this song.....(quoted earlier too)
'After you go
I can catch upon my reading
after you go
I'll have a lot more time for sleeping
and when you're gone
it looks like things are going to be a lot easier
life will be a breeze you know
I really should be glad
but I'm bluer than blue' especially when I find any of their stuff that has been left behind.

Anyway,we'll soon have a visit from another granddaughter--though a short visit, and a short holiday with our whole family to look forward to in March.