Posted in Experiences, Kids, Little Moments, People

Little comforts and small gestures (LMT Post)

With two little warm bodies curled up on my side, I woke up with a startle early yesterday morning to a room that was shining bright with all the lights turned on. What’s going on? And why is Da puttering in the kitchen so early in the morning? It only took a fraction of a second for the annoyance to turn into jubilation. After two days of darkness, the power supply was finally back. And Da, being the dutiful and responsible family man he is, was transferring the cartons of milk from the icebox to the refrigerator.

My state was spared the worst of Hurricane Sandy. Not much of devastation as some of the other places. But there were fallen trees and damaged properties. Our neighborhood was victim of one such fallen tree which caused the power supply to cease abruptly for two whole days. Thanks to a cooking range that is fueled by gas, and unseasonably warm weather, our household didn’t feel the pinch that we would have otherwise felt. I also think growing up in India where power cuts is a common occurrence has made us resilient to these temporary setbacks. Not that we were not looking forward to getting back electricity, just that we didn’t moan and groan as if it was the end of the world.

Hari was ecstatic. Two days of off from school. Three nights of sleepover with appa and amma. No keyboard practice. Now what more could a seven year old ask for? This child who sprints a marathon at the very mention of the word shower, sorely missed taking a nice hot shower. “Taking bath from a bucket is not as much fun amma.” Ram was unperturbed for the most part carrying on with business as usual. He missed the “big lights” when playing with the puzzles the most. Da, who is a happy man with a laptop in front of him, missed the internet the most. As for me, the battery powered toothbrush that was running out of juice, was what I itched the most. That and the dishwasher and the microwave… So as the power turned on, we all eagerly went back to the little comforts we are so used to and we take for granted with a new found appreciation.

As we went through the storm, we received calls from friends and family wanting to know about our well being. And somehow the fact that we were being thought of so fondly felt like a safety net. That we mattered. Our heartfelt thanks goes out to them. The calls and mails meant more than what they think.

All in all we have had an eventful week, a week that will help us see things in perspective and be thankful for the normal boring routine. To those readers who weathered the storm, I hope things are limping back to routine for you and that you and your family are keeping safe. To those who were unaffected, hope all is well at your end as well.

Posted in Kids, Little Moments, Milestones

A little bundle

She is here. My darling niece is here. Cute as a button, the little bundle was born on August 2nd and has all of us tap dancing to her tunes. Her entry into this world has made me an athai. One who is aspiring to be the world’s best athai ever.

In our family, becoming an athai comes with a set of privileges, the first of which is choosing a name for the little one. Needless to say, I was on the look out for a nice meaningful name right from when I was told that I am going to have a niece. The name found its way to me, it just happened. Ok, enough of the hype, want to know what name I picked for her. Shraddha. Say it a couple of times and you will fall in love with it like I did.

As a matter of fact, it’s not how the name sounds that caught my fancy, that’s a nice bonus, but what really prompted me to pick this name for her is the underlying meaning. I read the following in Eknath’s Easwaran’s Bhagavad Gita, and knew right away that I got what I wanted. Eknath says – “… the concept is Shraddha, and it’s nearest English equivalent is Faith. I have translated it as such, but Shraddha means much more. It is literally “that which is placed in the heart”: all the beliefs that we hold so deeply that we do not question them. It is the set of values, axioms, prejudices, and prepossessions that colors our perceptions, governs our thinking., dictates our responses, and shapes our lives without our ever being aware of its presence and power”, and he further says, “A person is what his Shraddha is”.

This is my own take on the name – Shraddha is your set of core values, the guiding principles that help you meander your way through life, is that one constant that holds you together at all times, everyday. Shraddha is what you choose it to be, and what you will become as a result of.

That being said, here’s wishing, kutty ponnu, our Shraddha, best and only the best that life has to offer forever and ever. God bless my darling.

Posted in Experiences, Life, Little Moments, Milestones

Happy Republic Day (Little Moments Thursday)

Republic Day as such is a special day, but this year it turned out to be extra special in our household.  Interested in knowing why? The colony in which my parents reside has the tradition of choosing a senior citizen to hoist the Tricolor every Republic Day. This year my paternal patti was the chosen one. Truly, what an honor it was! Last weekend as we carried on with our routine chat session on  Skype, I pulled her legs. “Patti, what are you going to wear? six yards or nine yards. Make sure you have your speech and national anthem practiced, ok?” Little did I realize that my casual teasing gave her the jitters and set her in preparation mode. So there she was today – clad in orange and green silk nine yards sari, head slightly bent as a mark of humility, a certain shyness in her demeanor that masked the underlying pride, happiness, and gratitude.

“This is my first time participating in a public event of this nature, so I felt a little shy when they first asked me,” confessed my patti in Tamizh when I called her to congratulate on the milestone. “I felt very honored that of all the people they chose me”, she added. Just when you think that you have seen and lived it all, life has a way of throwing beautiful surprises at you as though saying not so soon, right?