Hari Katha, Humor, Learnings, Little Moments, Memories, Writing

With Hari’s permission, I am posting the personal narrative that he has been working on. I love how writing is taught here, right from elementary grade. In this narrative, he is required to check for transition words, sensory language, zooming in, zooming out, grammar and spelling.

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Bad Kitty!

When I encountered a lion, things weren’t pretty. It did not bite me. It did not scratch me. Instead, it peed on me. That’s right, I was a john for a lion, a once in a lifetime experience.

While visiting my uncle’s family in Bentonville, Arkansas, we decided to visit a famous zoo located 25 miles south of where we were staying.  Although the drive only took 30 minutes, it felt like eternity as my eight year old brain processed the fact that I would see animals which were uncommon in New England.

“Bang!” slammed the passenger door, arousing me.  Not missing a beat, I hopped out of the car and headed towards the zoo, thrilled about what experience awaited me. When we entered the zoo, I gasped. I was astonished at the chimpanzee swinging in its cage like a trapeze artist, a bear expertly balancing on a tiny red ball, and an iguana blending with its surroundings. The warm delicious scent of popcorn from a nearby food cart welcomed me with its lovely aroma.

“Come on Hari,” my mom instructed. “You should take a look at these majestic lions. If you need me, I’ll be in the reptile section.”

“Sounds fine mom,” I replied. I trotted towards the lions, and halted when I spotted them, their orange manes flowing in the cool wind. Standing a mere inch away from the smooth, black cage was a kid about my age, staring at the lion. Turning around, he beckoned me to come sit next to him. Immediately, I started sweating. I felt that standing that close to the cage would likely come back to bite me. However, my undying curiosity to see the lion prompted me to crouch next to the kid and face the lion. I looked in awe at the humongous lion which peered back at me as if saying, who are you, and why are you in my territory?

“This lion is awesome!” I whooped, expecting the kid to respond. Instead, the kid, whose gaze was getting more alarmed by the second screamed “Look out!” and quickly dove to the side. I however, did not have quick enough reflexes. A yellow spray of liquid washed over me, sizzling all over my arm. Embarrassed I scampered away, avoiding as many people as I could, only to bump into my mom.

“What happened to you?” My mom cried, her face turning pale as milk seeing me wet.

“Ummmmmmmmm,” I mumbled, feverishly debating in my mind on whether or not to tell my mom.

“Spit it out, what happened?” She insisted, pushing me to the brink of telling the truth.

“Oh fine!” I sputtered, “A lion leaked on me.” Instantly, my mom put a hand to her mouth.

“Come on, we’ll get you cleaned up,” she replied, extracting a bag of tissues from her purse.

As you can see, I have survived that traumatic experience, but am still trying to live down the fact that I was a urinal for a lion. Now, I always stand far away from the cages of animals knowing well not to repeat the same mistake twice. Nevertheless, I still have nightmares, imagining that yellow substance submerging over me. Most of all, I have learned to accept the facts, and laugh along with my family when they make a joke about that incident – I’m Hari, I was a potty for the king of the jungle, and I am proud of it!

 

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Gratitude, Me, SYW, Writing

Share Your World

Enjoyed answering your questions Cee.

What household chore do you absolutely hate doing? Cleaning anything that spills or breaks. Specifically when glass container shatters all over the floor. No matter how thoroughly you clean, there is always a piece staring right back at you.

At what time in your recent past have you felt most passionate and alive? Over the weekend as I arranged our closets listening to Oliver Sacks speak.

How many times have you moved in the last ten years? Zero. We moved to our current home 10 years back and have planted ourselves here since them.

What inspired you or what did you appreciate this past week?  Feel free to use a quote, a photo, a story, or even a combination. RadioLab podcast had an episode where they have captured Oliver Sacks think aloud, brought goosebumps as I got a get a peek into how great thinkers think. To hear his assistant talk about his passion for writing made me want to write passionately and from my heart. I felt so grateful to live at a time and age where access to such gems is just a finger swipe away.

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Experiences, Gratitude, Writing

The blogging medium

I open “Thoughts Unlimited 4” google doc and scroll down to the 90th page, the page that I am typing on now.  I tend to type my posts on google document before posting it here on my online journal. This is my fourth file, and I have written more than 350 pages over a span of 11 years.

Within my circle of friends, I know of many people who have felt compelled to write all their life. I am not one of them. Growing up, I never felt the itch to write in a diary or a journal. The closest I can say I started writing was after I left high school. I felt the urge to put pen to paper out of wanting to be in touch with my high school friends. I used to write long descriptive letters to my friends and for a while had the pleasure of receiving equally long descriptive replies. But once the business of adulting took over, the practice dwindled. I adapted. I wrote less. I shared less.

Thankfully, a friend introduced me to blogging and very soon it became a platform that allowed me to write, articulate, and share without any dependencies. A place where I could explore my writing side and discover my voice. I am not exaggerating when I say that without blogging, there would have been no writing for me. So I am utterly grateful for this medium for igniting that dormant spark of writing in me. It has truly been a pleasure!

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Learnings, Life, Writing

Quotations – Day 3

The Sunday school is held at the local high school. Before going to my class, I generally stop by the “Collage of Voices” board where comments from high schoolers (from regular school) are posted anonymously. The theme seems to vary periodically and captures the voices of the kids on matters that matter to them. Eg. what stresses them and how do they destress.

Every weekend, I linger in that area to read and reread the collage by way of grounding myself in reality. Hari will be in high school before we know it. He will have enough stress of his own. The last thing that we want to do is weigh him down with our expectations and judgments. Easier said than done, which is why I go here often so I can internalise the messages that these kids are brave enough to voice out.

Today, the board had the following comments under the topic “Words of Wisdom”

voices1voices2

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Uncategorized, Writing

Blogging

WordPress had a little trophy for me at the upper right corner this morning. Apparently, it’s my eighth anniversary at wordpress. That makes it 11 years of blogging…!  I am grateful for this space where I get to write what my heart pleases, the way it pleases, and when it pleases. I am thankful for the handful of readers I have. And I am thankful for the friendships that this blog has given me. 

Note: With this post, I am concluding 31-days of gratitude journal. Thanks for walking with me on this journey. I hope to continue writing on a different theme, perhaps after a little break. 

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Introspection, Uncategorized, Writing

The irony of it all..!

There are days when all I want to do is write, write and write. Simply because I want to. The mind would not rest till the words come tumbling out. Till I have shared the stories of my life. I want to write about this. I want to write about that. I want to write about everything. The pull  to write is so overwhelming that running away from it is easier than quietly working on it one word, one sentence, one post at a time. So the lazy mind starts making excuses. Why bother? What’s the point? Who cares? What if I don’t find the right words to express the right emotions? In all this drama, the overwhelming urge to simply write has evaporated unexplored leaving me with a pang. So yeah, some days are like that!

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Family, Kids, Little Moments, Memories, Uncategorized, Writing

Prayer Book

If you were born and brought up in a tamil brahmin household, then chances are you have seen your thatha, patti, appa, amma or other kith and kin dutifully write Sriramajayam daily in their best handwriting in a book exclusively dedicated for this purpose. I know I have seen both my paternal grandpas and my appa follow this practice. And when I got married, I was pleased to see that my father-in-law practiced this daily habit as well. 

I don’t know when it rubbed on me,  but I too have a prayer notebook in which I pen the name of the deity that I heart – Ganesha. I am not as dutiful, I don’t write everyday, not necessarily in my best handwriting, but I do resort to it especially when I have the need to tangibly express my faith. There is so much peace in surrendering, in letting go, in accepting that you do not control everything, and that it’s going to be ok. My prayer book is the thing I resort to when I am in need of a security blanket.

Hari has seen me write in that book for the past 10 years. It has his 5 year old handwriting in it. The practice has intrigued him, and now Ram is curious too. Why do you write that? What will you do with the book after you have completed? How many times have you written? So on and so forth.

This May when it was my fil’s b’day we were debating about how we wanted to celebrate the day? The popular vote was for appa’s favorite snack – onion pakoda. Noooooooo! Right suggestion to the wrong person. I dislike deep frying from the depths of my heart, so I vetoed it in a heartbeat and came up with an alternative, expecting it to be shot down – “Hey guys, thatha used to write Sriramajayam in a notebook everyday, may be you should write today by way of thinking of thatha.”  

Ram wrote Ram five times on the back of an envelope and Hari took a new ruled notebook and proudly called it Hari’s Prayer Book and wrote his first set of  Sriramajayam. Since that day he has been dutifully writing everyday. It has been more than a month and he is going strong. All on his own accord. When I asked him why he chose to keep up with it, he said “I don’t know. I just want to  write” And that’s as good a reason as anything else.

 

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