Uncategorized

Blast from the past

I was checking some of our digital pictures from 2011 or so today. My heart soared and ached at the same time.

There was a video of Hari and Ram dressed as Balaram and Krishna for Janmashtami. Ram was barely able to talk but he was filling in the blanks for the Krishna story. Hari, patiently, playing the big brother role was filling in for him in broken tamizh and letting him have the last word. Those pudgy cheeks, eager eyes, and tender hands. I fell in love with both of them all over again.

There were several pictures in which Hari and his cousin Vish were dressed in similar clothes and doing all sorts of things from bursting fire crackers to playing cricket to the kumara bhojanam at Vish’s poonal function. They are about the same age. They barely keep in touch with each other but when they are together, they pick it up right from where they left.

My eyes became moist as I saw pictures of my mil, and grandparents – once people pass away, that’s it, right? You lose them for life, isn’t it? All you are left with are the memories and the love.  With every passing year, the memories fade but the love deepens, for absence creates fondness. Why do we tolerate people less in life but glorify them in death? Why is it so hard to be kind, nice, loving and forgiving when we have them in our midst ? Even as these thoughts swirled in my head, a wave of gratitude washed over me – short or long, we were so lucky to have had that time with them.

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Experiences, Experiments, Food, Health and fitness, Intentions, Me, Uncategorized

January Reflections

I did the monthly reflections post last year for a couple of months and abandoned it after. Let’s see how far this year takes me.

January has been a slow and steady month.This is the time of the year I normally tend to push myself to build new habits. But this year, I am just going with the flow without any grand goals or lofty ambitions. Just making sure to put in small consistent steps every day. This month I focused on infusing some discipline into my eating habits and imbibing 15 to 20 mins workout. It is not a lot but it has helped me get some of my stamina back. I also worked on one of my very annoying habits – I often leave my handbag unzipped (yikes!) and forget where I leave my keys (I never lose them but always misplace them as a result spend a lot of time searching). I can’t say I have conquered the clumsiness (I doubt I ever will) but have certainly been more mindful.

For workout, I wanted to share the youtube video series called Jessica Smith TV. It works well given the weather outside. There are many styles to choose from setting you free from monotony. They are for different chunks of time ranging from 10 mins to 30 mins, so lack of time cannot be used as an excuse. There are different levels to choose from. And the person who does it, keeps reiterating that something is better than nothing, which is kind of a great slogan when it comes to workout because you don’t have to do a lot, just a little something everyday. Some days that pushes you to do more and on other days, atleast you know you did a little something.

How quickly one month has gone by, isn’t it? Where are you with your new year goals?

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Books, Uncategorized

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows by Balli Kaur Jaswal

The title is intriguing, isn’t it? Makes you want to dig deeper, isn’t it?

A small set of Punjabi widows are coaxed into signing up for a creative writing class led by Nikki, the 22 year old protagonist of this novel. The catch is majority of them do not know to write the english alphabets let alone taking a stab at creative writing in english. But who said one needs to know to read and write to be a creative story teller? So what was originally a creative writing class evolves into a creative story telling class. On the surface, these women seem to be timid, conformists, and gossip mongers but the erotic tales that they spin shatter the stereotypes, and  unleash the unfamiliar and unexpected sides of their personality and personal lives. Through these storytelling session , not only the widows but also Nikki find their voices, their place in the society, and break free from the shackles that society imposes on them.

This is a story of immigrant acceptance and assimilation, of identity differences between first and second generation immigrants, of complicated sibling and parent relationships, and of a small neglected and written off subgroup of the Punjabi community in a suburb of London. Most of all, it is a story of women empowerment and finding the courage to be the change you want.

I found the side stories of this novel a little distracting and a tad Bollywoodish but it was a small price to pay for a novel that was at  its core funny and thought provoking. Grab this book, it is worth a read.

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Little Moments, Uncategorized

Little Moments

I thought I would restart the weekly Little Moments post starting this week.  Let’s see what extraordinary moments stand out in this ordinary week.

  • Ram has lost his upper two middle teeth. I feel a rush of affection every time I see the gaping hole in this upper row teeth. It adds an extra sparkle to his twinkling eyes.
  • A trip to Hot Breads. Treated myself to a bhel and brought home paneer puffs and chocolate truffle cakes for the boys.
  • Working in the home office next to Hari. He doing his thing and I doing my thing. Love our presence with each other.
  • Trying Calm meditation audio this week with Ram. I do find the background sounds very distracting and mildly annoying but thrilled to explore something new.
  • Hot hot pongal made by my neighbor. Relished every bite of it.
  • Worked on my LinkedIn profile. Needs further clean up but god knows how long I have been procrastinating. Overcoming that inertia was a small win.
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Family, Gratitude, Holidays, Introspection, Uncategorized

Musings

  • I have been off from work over the past two weeks. I have been checking social media but not as frequently. I have not watched anything on Netflix. I expected not to miss work but not missing social media or watching T.V. is a nice surprise.
  • All four of us have been hanging out together for the past week or so doing nothing in particular. I am going to miss the lazy mornings, deadline-free, commitment-free, chauffeuring-free days. Not to mention the brats.
  • I am only exaggerating a little when I say, if you were to stand outside our house for some time right now, you will be a human popsicle. It is minus four degree Fahrenheit tonight. The low temperatures have been hovering at that range for the past one week and is expected to remain so for the next one week. On the plus side, it’s going to feel warm and toasty when we hit freezing point. It’s all relative!
  • New year does give a nice opportunity to reconnect with folks that I normally don’t keep in touch with under the guise of being busy. Spending the last day of the previous year and the first year of the new year catching up with friends and family is something I so look forward to.
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Gratitude, Holidays, Ram Leela, Uncategorized

Slowing down

It is truly the only time of the year when things slow down on all fronts – work, volunteering, school and extracurricular activities for kids. There are no deadlines to chase, no routine to keep up. Nonetheless, there are things to do. Projects that I have been putting off citing lack of time and energy. Those need to be tackled but at least it will be on my terms. This quite time is much needed and I am immensely thankful for it.

Some random tidbits from my end.

  • Da and I went to the Star Wars movie. I am not a Star Wars junkie but I am hooked. I am on a mission to watch the rest of the seven movies. Talking about movies, so many ones that I would like to see. If possible, within the next week – Jumanji, Pitch Perfect, and The Greatest Showman.
  • Ram and I are slowly getting to our pre-summer bedtime routine. How I have missed it! It’s always tempting to give up on bedtime routine because I am totally drained by that time of the day. But once I get past that moment of weakness, the five to ten minutes of reading, meditating and tucking in give such a fitting end to the day.
  • There are some residual jobs left, but officially the renovation is complete. We got the inspection sign off after some hiccups. I have been spending the past few days unpacking, cleaning and arranging. I enjoy doing this kind of work, so no complaints.
  • This winter feels like winter with temperatures dipping, and some snow here and there.  And it’s just the beginning of the season. Oh lord!
  • I am hardly on computer since I have been off work since last Thursday. It feels great not to be tethered to my laptop or to be distracted by random web browsing due to my distracted mind.
  • I decided that I will not be ambitious about what I want to accomplish during this break. I will give my all to the present and just be. I want to do a little bit of everything – work, play, travel, and chill.
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Gratitude, Uncategorized

Alexa

“Alexa, what’s the time?”

“Alexa, set timer to 10 mins.”

“Alexa, what’s the weather today?”

“Alexa, what did the Celtics score in the game last night?”

And just like that Alexa has become an integral part of our morning hustle and bustle. The mornings are lighter and a little less frantic, thanks to Alexa, thanks to technology!

This concludes the daily gratitude posts for November. Thank you for being part of the journey.

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