Monday Motivation

“Arise, awake and stop not till the goal is reached”: Swami Vivekananda

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Put your heart into whatever it is that you are doing, trying to achieve- even if you don’t succeed, chances are you will come out stronger and a tad bit wiser. The workings of life can be baffling at times but giving up cannot be an option.

Thanks for stopping by and hope you have a meaningful week.

Through the looking glass

It was a tad bit crazy weekend with birthday parties and play dates, meeting a dear friend who is moving away, weekly grocery and other mundane stuff. It was, on the other hand gorgeous, weather wise. While it was good to run around without feeling burdened by the puffer jackets and fuzzy hats it was also another example of the effects of climate change- you don’t just get a 66 degree Fahrenheit in January that followed a biting 12 degree.

Anyways, on our way back from a birthday party, I clicked these from a moving car. They are not of a great quality but as I was scrolling through my phone album to look for at least one good shot, I thought these looked more like paintings than photos and felt like sharing. It was a warm day and the cloud cover added to that feeling of painting probably. I somehow like clicking while being in the passenger seat…scenes that pass by from a moving vehicle have always fascinated me. Right from the days of traveling by train when undulating hills and green fields with little straw and mud huts strewn across would be a staple sight, I have loved looking at the life that passes by. Little children waving at the sight of a train, stopped bicycles and rickshaws at the railroad crossings, little hamlets with their tea stalls and shops, kids flying kites were all familiar sights as I looked out of the window, with the wind in my hair during our annual train rides from Kolkata (Calcutta) to our family home in Jamshedpur (a city about 150miles away). No camera in hand, those scenes are somehow etched in my mind, rumblings of childhood when all innocence was not lost.

Thanks for stopping by.

January photo a day challenge: Hello January

Are you a “ setting goals” type of a person or more like someone who goes with the flow? Or perhaps you are like me- setting goals and then embracing procrastination😜 Whatever your motto might be, there’s always a way to start afresh! Wishing  you all moments filled with peace, laughter, good books and movies, company of good people, accomplishments and happiness🙂

 

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Thanks for stopping by! Posted for citysonnet.

December photo a day challenge: Goodbye December

Often, many things are not part of our plan. And how we deal with that is what we defines us- the past, present and future of it- the whole of it. As we are set to turn the pages of our calendars, many of us are reflecting on the year that was, many are focusing on new year resolutions. While I am thankful for the opportunities that we have had as a family and the growth, however big or small, that has happened because of that, I am also mindful of the dashed hopes and anxious moments that have occupied a good portion of the year. We have persevered through the good and the bad and the ugly…we all have.

The world is at a turning point, it seems…people with narrow and vested ideologies, insincere interests and divisive thoughts are on the rise and in power all over the world. But if you think about it, revolutions are taking place from within tiny lanes to the big cities…the youth is taking charge and those who had fought valiantly and sacrificed more than we can think of to give us what we enjoy today, are cheering on for them. The promise of a better tomorrow for the future generations is in our hands and we sure have a long way to go but I believe those tiny steps are being already taken. It’s time to take note of what will keep our beautiful earth from perishing because of some selfish people and time to open hearts and minds to those who look different and maybe believe in a different God. Our kids are watching and we owe them a lot better than what we are currently doing.

My hope for my family and for all of us is that may we engage in conversations that are not only tickle our funny bones but also make us think beyond that point in time, may we listen to music that make us groove, read books that stir something deep within us. If, as they say, we are the collective of every experience that we have had, let us dream big and paint bold, love a bit more fiercely, show more compassion and keep on marching to fight the good fight!

I had hoped, just like last year, to capture the sunset of the last day of the year and just like last year could not get one this time too. It rained for the most part today. And when it stopped later in the afternoon, I went to this nearby field that has this barn with this very powerful message…it is one of my favorite places to go to unwind. I have photographed this place before and so, as I was looking for something to share on this forum and a sunset was my choice, plans got changed and I took this photo instead. It speaks, in my mind, volumes about our current topsyturvy state of affairs and guides us with a simple message.

 

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“Hope smiles from the threshold of the year to come, whispering, ‘it will be happier”:                                                     Lord Alfred Tennyson.

 

Posted for citysonnet.

Thanks for stopping by. We wish you all a very happy and peaceful year ahead:)

Of untold tales

Every house has a story or two. And stories often remain untold.

Stories about…

“…empty cane chairs on the balcony of the family house that no longer sees people. The paint on the walls outside have started to chip in places while spider webs are the only artwork inside. The reading glasses of its inhabitants remain on the table, next to the open book that was just being read…or so it would seem. The sarees remain folded neatly in the almirah and the dishes in the kitchen neatly kept away. Legal complications have left this house in limbo, unloved un-lived and un-cared. This house does not care if a year ends or another begins. Time has stood still here from a couple of winters ago when, cocooned in her blanket, the old lady peacefully passed away in her sleep.”

 

“…summers that have always been awful in that part of the country. Sweat trickled down the face in rivulets and the heat almost suffocated you. The glare of the mid morning sun sliced through the bamboo shades and water from the earthen pitchers provided the only respite from the sweltering days. The courtyard in the center of the house cracked from the heat and one would have to sprint across it if the bathroom, at the other end, had to be used. But in another corner the mango, papaya, and guava trees provided a shade that would easily calm down the uneasiness and the sweet smelling bel phool (bel flower: a type of the jasmine flower that is native to tropical Asia) would make one linger around the shade for several minutes. The querulous call of the crows would occasionally break the eerie silence that prevailed on such afternoons, both inside and outside the walls. As ceiling fans whirled overhead and circulated the heady aroma of the paan (betel leaves), people enjoyed their siesta, almost oblivious of the stifling heat. From its bare bones today, it it would be hard to tell that in its prime, it nurtured life with love that was rare. It has stories that if told would surely embrace the listener in a warm and exhilarating hug.”

 

“…a small well that stood at the entrance of the two story house and one would have to maneuver with care when passing it or the chances of getting one’s shoes wet were high in the puddles that were to be found at all times of the day. The long verandah with the wooden chair at one corner had seen many a special moments like people bursting out in cheer (and some in anger) as they watched the soccer World Cup back in 1986 when Argentina won a crucial match by the ‘Hand of God’. It had been witness, not once but a couple of times, to a lone langur that would often seat himself on that chair, and hold up the newspaper that would usually be found on the table right next to it and spend sometime ‘reading’ that. Where the langur came from and where it disappears to, was another story the house could tell. It could also share one of its favorite memories which was that of the owners’ nine grandchildren posing for a photograph on the steps of the attic. That old house with the well has been taken down and a grand flat stands in its place where there is no well to be maneuvered.”

 

Another year ends in a day and with that we add, or at least hope to add, another year to our lives. We live another year to tell stories that have remained untold. We live to cherish the past more and weave memories from the present for the future. Let’s make sure we keep telling stories that matter, that make people heard and that remember those who no longer are there to share their stories.

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

 

 

A Birthday Post

How do I start this post that wants to celebrate the person I share my home with, the one who is imperfectly perfect for me, is a good father to our kids and who would get absolutely mad if he knew about this! When I had an account on Facebook, posts splashed with love would pop up every other day, as couples shared each other’s birthdays and anniversaries and let their whole world know how much they loved each other. And I often thought “if only he would post something similar on my birthday or our anniversary and also not get upset if I did the same”. But he never did and neither did I . I also thought the posts to be too cheesy 😉

As I have come to know this person more and more over the years and as I continue to know him, the elements of surprise and predictability go hand in hand in his case and that combination assures me that we are two imperfect people who are never going to give up on each other. I knew him in high school and then we reconnected after a gap of almost seven years but it never felt that we hadn’t been in touch (sounds like a terrible cliche, I know!). And we have been on a roller coaster ride since. Through the fights and laughs, we have seen each other at our worst and best and learned to pause, reflect and move on. He has been patient and kind and as supportive as one could possibly be when I have needed him the most. He is forgetful of many things on a daily basis and while that is supremely irritating at times, that has also given me and continues to give some of the best memories with him! His passion for music ( a completely self taught guitarist!) and for cooking keep impressing me even today. A ‘perfectionist’ husband can be a difficult thing, specially when the wife is more of a slob but that inspires the slob to be better!

Neel: Here’s to you….who I married almost eleven years ago and whom I have known for ever.

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While this is a very hazy picture, it remains my favorite wedding photo. Remember the time when we got married, you were  going through the most challenging time of your life. We had nothing and yet somehow we survived and came out stronger. You helped me adjust to this very different way of life here and made me see the best in all that there was, in what we had. We didn’t have money or time to travel far and wide and so the only place for us to go to, over and over again was Duluth, that still is my most favorite place to visit. Let’s go there again!

 

From rustic to not so plain, you can cook up a meal that leaves my tummy full and heart fuller and I absolutely do not mind the tremendous mess in the kitchen! Your zen like state, under all circumstances can be annoying at times, but when I take a step back and think about that, I could not be more grateful. You help me keep my balance and I know to lean on you when needed. I applaud you for your patience and I am happy for choosing you to be the yin to my yang.

And what can I say about that guitar! The dedication and passion with which you play, be it simple strumming or nursery rhymes or Pink Floyd, is inspiring and simply amazing and I love it more than I can ever express properly. The little guy looks up to you and I can see how he watches you when you play and that makes me pause.

You don’t particularly like taking selfies and neither do you think every occasion deserves a photo and while we have to agree to diasgree, I am glad that we have these to remind us of simple times at home and the times we have traveled around. I look forward to so many more of such photos together:) If I asked you which was my favorite from this group, you would have no problem pointing at the one in the extreme right bottom…in the waiting room of the hospital back in 2015…waiting to get admitted to welcome our baby boy:)

It is hard to tell, from those kind eyes, that you are a very mischievous person too! Bit by bit, you and the little guy are adding to the pages of your pocketbook of memories.

I remember all the apprehension you had about being able to be a good father and while you are still new in this arena, you are doing a good job with them…let their mamma tell you that!

 

When I look at you and then I look at us, I am reminded of the infinite patience that you have shown and the calm you have maintained when times got tough and so, when I say that we are in this together I want you to know, again, that it’s okay to not feel strong at all times…vulnerability at times, is a good thing. You are doing a great job, my love.

 

You prefer the simpler things in life and while that does baffle me at times, but it also makes me like you more and more. I wish I had captured the your expression when the Cheesecake Factory guys got you the birthday cake slice with the candle and all sang “Happy Birthday to You”!!! You were thoroughly embarrassed and didn’t know what to do…hahahahhahahahhahaa!!!!!

 

One fine evening in Kobe, these roses caught me by surprise and it has been a wonderful journey ever since. One of my favorite photos of us, this calms me down, I don’t really know why. I want you to know today and always, that no matter what we are in this together and there is a whole world of travel, food and fun waiting to greet us! We also have two very handful little ones who are entertaining and exhausting, adorable and full of mischief. I am looking forward to all the milestones that we will be celebrating together, watching them grow.

And look what happened…. this post turned out to be just as cheesy as the ones I used to squirm looking at on Facebook and you are going to be so mad! But for once, I don’t care;) I love you with all my heart and as our song goes “Wise men say, only fools rush in; But I can’t help, Falling in love with you.” My wish for you is that you continue to be the you that I have always known and hold my hand tight. I wish to travel with you all over the world but I want to start with the city that brought us together-Kobe, Japan and explore that beautiful country together.

 

 

Thank you for stopping by and thank you for (hopefully!) not thinking that this was cheesy;)