My Dear Friend

Time flies by and I think

When was the last time I spoke to you.

You, who were my best friend

You, who still are.

 

You have seen me at my lowest

And loved me with all you had

You held me up every time I fell

And hugged me a little tight.

 

I knew not when you became my best friend

I knew not if I was yours

All I knew was you were there for me

And I was there, for you.

 

You brought peace and joy

And we held on tight,

And in a land that was unknown

You were my ray of hope.

 

We promised to keep in touch

And we did too for a while

But life caught us with the ups and down

And in vain, I look around for you.

 

I wish we lived closer

We would catch a movie and sip some coffee too.

We would sit in silence for a little while

Just you and I.

 

I miss you my dear friend, I miss you a lot

Our silly laughs and random thoughts

Midnight walks

And phone calls at the end of the day.

 

While the ebb and flow have taken us along different shores

I know that you know

I hope that you know, my dear friend

You remain, the sister of my heart.

 

 

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Monday Motivation

“Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it”- Helen Keller

 

It does become tough at times to hold on to hope and keep believing that things will get better and no matter how hard we fight, we feel broken and lost…we are only human after all. But that’s our superpower as well, I feel. We are resilient and we cling on to that hope with all that we have and work hard to dispel the gloom. Change takes time but we surely can’t give up on ourselves thinking otherwise.

 

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Happy Monday everybody and thanks for stopping by!

Tuesday Tales-Summertime

Summer is here and it is bright and beautiful all around, even in our neighborhood. Lathered up with sun screen and donning hats and sunglasses, everyone’s ready to tackle the dazzling summer sun. After all, it’s only going to last a couple of months! It indeed calls for celebration. Barbecues, trips to the pool and the beach, running through sprinklers, backyard camping, lovely flowers wherever you look, long queues outside the local ice cream parlor, summer camps are all part of that merriment.

Growing up, summer was somewhat similar but also slightly different. It meant the much awaited summer vacation and a trip to someplace far enough to warrant my favorite mode of travel- the train. It also meant visits from some of our favorite people, extra T.V time, staying out for a little longer than usual. It meant gorging on mangoes, the most juicy and sweet kind one can probably find only in the state of Bengal and it also meant sultry afternoons sipping on the ‘ghol’ (a very light version of its famous cousin-the lassi). It also meant ‘holiday homework’ that only got started usually on the last week of the ‘holiday’ and the scramble to get it all done added to the crabby feeling triggered by the imminent opening of  school.

Back home, the hot and humid summers make the air heavy and drown everyone in sweat. The afternoons are sometimes unbearable and an eerie silence descends on the neighborhoods that is only occasionally broken by the cawing of the crow or the shrill call of the peddler trying to sell his wares. His sticky skin glistens under the glaring sun and the heat from the asphalt probably scorches his feet through the threadbare sandals. We often heard peddlers from inside the comfort of our houses, where the silence was instead broken by the rotating blades of the ceiling fan. Ma sometimes spoke about such courageous people who fought against adversities on a daily basis just to make ends meet. If our doorbell rang, Ma would buy something even if we did not really need it (these were mostly inexpensive goods as well) and would always offer the person water to drink. And there were a couple of occasions when I remember she let them rest indoors for a while till they felt ready to go back out again. Some other families in our neighborhood did the same. Summers were cool for many but scorching for most. But times were simpler back then and people looked out for each other probably more than now. Trust was implicit and that made living easier.

Summer time in Kolkata and in the eastern region of India also brought/brings the much awaited and always welcome ‘Kalbaishakhi’- the Nor’westers. Skies darken and the stillness in the air deepens. Rumbles can be heard far and wide and then the dark grey clouds open their gates to drain the earth with torrential downpour. The heady aroma from the sweltering earth, the bruised leaves dancing in the rain and the crackling thunders make everyone overlook the temporary inconvenience the Kalbaishakhi causes. I remember them with clarity and fondness and I miss them dearly too. While we do get sudden thunderstorms here as well, they fall far behind the almost royal nature of the revered Kalbaishakhis.

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This photo was taken by a pretty mediocre cell phone camera right before one such ‘Kalbaishakhi’ back in Kolkata  a few years back. The sky had turned this deep yellow and there was stillness all around.

The following photos are from neighborhood strolls and from lunch outings over the past couple of weeks- it has been beautiful all around.

 

 

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Thanks for stopping by. What are some of your favorite memories from summer?

 

Monday Motivation

Monday is almost over here but this is my photo and my thought for the day-

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“OPTIMISM IS THE FAITH THAT LEADS TO ACHIEVEMENT. NOTHING CAN BE DONE WITHOUT HOPE AND CONFIDENCE”- HELEN KELLER

 

Thanks for stopping by and I hope you all have a good week.

‘What’s the Word’ Wednesday

Ennui :

Feeling of weariness and dissatisfaction; boredom

 

   My four year old has been, of late,  using the sentence:’ I am bored!’ And I have been processing it, very carefully…trying out different things to lessen his ‘boredom’. He has also recently started getting more screen time than usual as I have been slacking, probably, in keeping him occupied. That has been followed by pangs of guilt and some serious ‘research’ into how to best stimulate the young mind, how to keep them occupied etc etc. All of this also has had less than desirable results at times, setting the whole cycle in motion again!

   Growing up, I was always told to keep myself occupied as much as possible as it was not a good thing to sit idle. Who can remember this from their childhood days- ‘An idle brain is the devil’s workshop!’ And so ingrained is that notion in my mind that I too have been doing the same with my son and in the process probably not letting him be a child. I wonder is too much structured time good for kids? I look around and parents and kids are running from one activity to the other and both often look exhausted and somewhat ‘doing things for the sake of doing them’. I have already had suggestions from ‘concerned’ minds that I should be enrolling my son, before it’s too late, in guitar lessons and soccer and some sort of piano or drum lessons too (my kid is just another kid who loves to kick the ball around and beat the drums and strum his ukulele). And the only thought that had crossed my mind was “too late for a four year old??”

   Recent research has shown that being bored once in a while is actually good for the child’s brain (https://newsroom.clevelandclinic.org/2018/03/08/unplug-your-kids-boredom-is-good-for-the-brain/- there are many more articles on this topic..just ask Google!) It gives them time to be creative and helps them think.  If a parent is filling in all the free time of the child, I wonder how will they learn to do it themselves? We cannot think for the kids nor should we and as I am learning slowly, it is not good for my kid to be told how to keep himself occupied at all times. I need to let him be a kid and help him visit the land of make believe.

   We did not have the electronic devices at our finger tips and we did figure out ways to keep ourselves from getting ‘bored’. And as far as I remember, it was fun to pretend play and talk to other kids, get into quarrels and figure out how to get along, scrape our knees playing on the streets and get our hands dirty in the mud! I wonder if we are failing to give our kids enough outdoor time or has societal norms put such limits? Such thoughts cross my mind and I am often perplexed by the complexity of the answers. Times are different and life has become much more demanding and trying to find a balance between the ideal and what’s possible can sometimes be an uphill task. But I am willing to let my four year old get a little bored and figure out things on his own, get down on my knees and get our hands dirty, if not in the mud then in the play dough and other gooey stuff!

 

(I had started writing this post about a month ago and had then just forgotten! My ‘bored’ four year old made me think about this today and I am thankful for that ‘boredom!)

 

 

Thanks for stopping by:)

Monday Motivation

   It is sometimes hard to keep it together when there is so much negativity all around. Half truths are not truths, disdain and contempt for others is not good, “I” above everything and everyone else is shallow. But when walls seem to be closing in from all directions, it sometimes helps to just keep breathing. So, keep breathing my dears…just keep breathing.

   I went for a walk with my son the other day and it was a beautiful evening. The sky was blue and white and gray and pink…it was amazing to look up. As I clicked these with my phone, the song- ” What a Wonderful World” kept playing in my head! So much beauty all around us…how are we not caring for HER more?

 

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“I don’t have to chase extraordinary moments to find happiness-it’s right in front of me if I’m paying attention and practicing gratitude” – Brene Brown
Keep Breathing!

Monday Motivation

Monday is over in some parts of the world and it is close to being over where I live. But I still wanted to go ahead with this post as self motivation!

   When our loved ones suffer, it hurts us too. It also makes us feel helpless when there is nothing that we can do to ease their troubles.  At the moment, I am in a similar predicament  as some seemingly unending and unsolvable strain of difficulties is giving my family back in India sleepless nights and I don’t know how to help. While I have enormous faith in the scheme of things and that gives me hope in the face of adversities, at times it gets difficult to hold on to hope too. I started this post as something that would distract me, even if for a little bit, from the constant worry  and as a reason to help me to to keep pushing forward, holding on to that chalice of hope. And the main reason was to help one particular troubled soul find strength and believe that ‘this too shall pass’.

   Today, I am posting some sayings of the Buddha that might seem cliched (like all quotes or sayings tend to do) but have profound truth and power to help heal the troubled soul and carry forward with the journey.

 

The mind is everything. What you think you become.
Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.
All that we are is the result of what we have thought.
We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.
No one saves us but ourselves. No one can and no one may. We ourselves must walk the path.
Every morning we are born again. What we do today is what matters most.
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Have a happy week, folks!