The Bell Tolls in the New..

We freeze in certain circumstances, and warm up in certain others, if you have observed human behaviour.

Some people freeze the life out of us, pushing us into tundras resounding with nothing but the palpitations of fear- cutting short our seasons of growth and cooling our passions fast with low,mean temperatures. Some others, breathe life back into frozen souls, warm as Mediterranean  sea waters,engendering growth, passion, and blood flow back into our frozen systems. Some others, play another game, acting hot and cold, perhaps like the tropics, the rainfall of emotions being heavy and frequent, the temperature hot and  precipitation creating submerged environs.

It is time that someone undertook a study of how the different environmental climes resonate to human emotions and explore whether the nature affects our psyches, or our psyches mimic nature. But for sure, healthy nurture solicits a suitable nature, pun intentional, especially one  that is specifically good for the recipient.

Mustard oil stays in liquid state in winter. Coconut oil, born and brought up in warmer climes, freezes over in unfamiliar territory. Ah, I learn another lesson. Nature has a reason for allowing certain things to flourish in certain climes.  So be mustard, not a nut, in colder environs. Or if you still want to stand up and fight, warm it with enough heat and watch it  flowing normal again.

Resolution for new year: A promise to follow the nature’s directions.

  1. To seek warmth from those who nourishes one, embrace one’s achievements, cry along  in pain, and who, never delight in one’s agony. To avoid those, who freeze up the growing sinews with poison, hatred, malice, envy, opportunism, disrespect and lack of good will.

2. To never try and be something that one is not. To dare to be as authentic as one was born to be. To walk with head up, spine erect, and say, ‘ It is my birth right to be my own light.’

3. To be engendering to others, at home, work and society. To know that it is a privilege to serve, as it is to receive.

4. To know that Life is much , much more than about one’s own little self. To have humility and gratitude.

5. To worship no one, no philosophy or dictum, no material or possession with unquestioning, blind adoration.

6. To live with alertness: seeing both  the obvious and  the unseen , listening to words both unsaid and heard, touching with reverence and affection, speaking with clarity and conviction, smelling out both the wise and the rotten and remain as much as possible, unperturbed by the vagaries of the climates of the human psyche.Both one’s own and that of others.

Weorthscipe: old English, for worship.

May the new year usher in honour,dignity and worth to all.



Dressing Up Shiva and Other Tall Tales…


My little girl loves to dance. So the performance was for the revered Mahadewa Mela, as an offering before the very Dance God himself. If dancing is an art form, an equal effort has to be put in for make up and dress.

Thus began the dressing up of Shiva. Since it was winter and leopard prints had long been out of favour, we decided on a white and red Kathak dress combination. The school sweater, in red, came in handy too. The Lord was known to have long tresses and so along with her own hair, was attached a snake like twisting hair piece. One cannot conjure up serpents for performance- but imagination helped to twist bracelets and beads into appropriate shapes and snakes. Rajasthani bangles and anklets looked remarkably like Shiva’s adornments. By the time I sketched the third eye, my little one looked like a miniature version of a female Shiva- albeit a slightly plump one!

To give her due credit, she did a great job. Before the shiva linga on the stage, my Shiva danced to “Jatatavigalajjala pravahapavitasthale
Galeavalambya lambitam bhujangatungamalikam…  ” On one occasion when the Lord had to sit and prounce up, she lost her balance and smiled gracefully before confidently executing the next pirouette meticulously. I told myself  strictly that I am going to remove chocolates from her snacks.

The resolution , stout as it was, lasted for exactly five minutes. After performing a second song along with her teacher, she skipped  to my side and and reached out for cashew nuts.

” Shiva almost lost balance on stage today…” I said, grinning.

“Like you at my age? Dancing the Kaliya mardanam?  Kaliya stood upright and Krishna fell off the stool?”

This Shiva was not an easy one to be trounced. She also had a eidetic memory!

” Wow, sweetie…you danced so well…” Said the colleagues, congratulating her. She was gifted chocolates.

Recently, the dentist peered into her tooth and tut tutted: ‘nasty cavity, little girl!’

Before I could snarl, I told you so, she piped up: ” Been getting lots of chocolates for dancing Doctor Uncle!”

Shiva’s tummy and Shiva’s teeth are under strict control now. Both the stage and the mother, are very grateful to the serene acceptance by the Lord.

To the nice dentist , she promised that  she would lose neither tooth nor her balance in the future performance . Next time, she is dancing as Radha. The storm clouds are gathering and Krishna is teasing her. Cannot afford to show the gaps in her teeth or lose the charmer to other women, can she, because of chocolates?

Krishna, Krishna!!!




Life’s Knocks, Life’s Embraces…

Right from school, when one singer bitched slyly against another better one, I have observed the vagaries of competition rather dispassionately- usually the reactions left demeaning inner footprints within one’s  own spirit’s pathway.

Very often, when life has pitched me against far better competitors and envy raised her serpentine green head to strike, I had remembered the singer and the vicious look on her 13 year old face , turning the pretty eyes ugly for a moment ; and had soothed  the  coiling snake  within my own self down to her hole,  with one charming song: ” This person’s gift has to be acknowledged. Her/ His gift does not mean that mine is less in anyway.” And believe me, it has worked most times. Yes, on some occasions, it still reared its head, and the snake charmer’s song had to be played multiple times and then I had to create something new to feel better😃. What was it about envy and her sting?!

Although I am a very competitive person, and does not like losing anywhere, life has been teaching me different snake charms.

Acknowledge, appreciate, and grow…

So when my elder child , clearly carrying the same competitive DNA, frowned on someone pipping her for a dream admission, I told her the same.

“When you received the first call letter, did you rejoice?”

” Yes, Amma.”

” How many must have got a rejection letter- did you think about them then?”

A moment’s poignant silence.

” No. I was busy cheering .”

” Then how come, when you are not admitted, you feel it was not fair? What is the problem in acknowledging that those who got in, were better than you, more deserving? ”

Another moment of silence.

” If the students who were rejected,when you were selected , had questioned your capability, how would you feel?”

” Bad. As if it was a typical loser’s reaction.”

” So, why not choose to be a winner now? Appreciate those who made it ?”

Suddenly she smiles. Her beautiful eyes sparkle. It is an aha moment! The pie of her success has not been eaten into by another’s success. That remains for her to enjoy: with more hard work, dreams, spirit and grace.

” So you never felt bad when you lost, eh Amma?”

I grin to myself. If I counted my losses, my girl, I will fill many diaries. But I usually count my winnings. Those too fill many happy hours.

” Mmm….for every jolt, I sort of say thank you to the ones I have already, having you for my daughter. I am so proud of you.”

A very meaningful cough rises from my left side. The nine year old is particularly a sore loser. She will, in her sister’s words, climb a tree, and breathe life into a lion’s skeletal system to make it pounce on the competitors to eliminate unnecessary work.

” I am proud of you too,” I grin.She looks totally unconvinced. Her sister laughs out openly.

” Amma, imagine teaching her to handle rejection slips when she is trying for University…”

” Who said I will get rejected?”

Ahhh….much work to be done here, I think to myself.





Roasted Pigeon and a Prayer

” My girl…”, I grin as I get a photo of my teenager , next to me. The younger one, the photographer, expressed her heart felt appreciation for both the pose and the affection, with a single pertinent comment:

” Ugghh!”

It was neither short nor long,

Neither too petulant nor too syrupy,

It was a simple emotion

Emerging from within the heart’s depths.

My elder one laughs:” Amma, as perfect as Satyajit Ray’ s  PatolBabu Film star: Remember that “Oh” of PatolBabu when he knocked against the hero. That same anguish and pain,   with a good dose of disgust and exasperation.”

” By the way, you remind me of a purple squab,” she says.

Neither I nor my little one know the meaning.

” Roast pigeon Mom…having toasted herself in front of the heater the whole day…”

Suddenly I sympathise with the ” Ugghh!”

My little girl declares suddenly, ” I will pray.”

” For what?” I ask, astonished.

” That she gets her University and leaves soon. Ugghh…”

And that, I conclude , is how certain kids get into Universities. On the wings of prayers of many loving souls!!!