SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

My Mother is 60!!

My Mother is 60....so what does that make me....
Yep...thats right...you got it...OLD!!!

Now this is not about me, it's about her all the way.

As I flash back, I remember many incidents...some funny, some sad, some thrilling, some mundane, and mostly that she was always there....

Most of my memories of my mother is of her diligently working at something or the other, either at the kitchen, or in the garden, or in our rooms. No wonder she could maintain our spacious house single handedly!
I remember our first house, a huge sprawling one, with an even bigger garden. That's probably why she developed a passion for plants, perforce having to tend to such a big garden, the natural nurturer in her took over!

I remember the wallop my sister and I got when we got wet in the rain one afternoon!! Now I have to constantly remind myself that, when my son insists on running into the rain....

I remember how my mother took one look at my brother and the hanging arm, broken while imitating spiderman (or was that superman?), quickly pushed it back into place..yes very much like she had some training from Puttur (a place famous for repairing broken bones in Tamilnadu!!) and slinging it neatly with a towel. The doctor was so impressed, he simply had to x-ray and place the plaster!

I remember her encounters with snakes, the way she handled them would put the Korava community to shame! ( Probably teach Greg Martin a lesson or two!). The curry leaf plant harbours green tree snakes ( harmless apparently) and if you are not careful you could pluck it along with a whole branch of leaves too. Which she did.
Luckily she spotted it as it was trying to slither its way out and into our dining room, while I sat frozen in time, with my second born on my lap, about 2 feet away from all this action. She held on for dear life...yes she actually was holding the snake....superwoman....and finally managed to push it into a polythene bag!
What still stands out for me is that at this point is that the only male available (why do we look for a male?!!...dont ask me why... its a conditioning!) was our dhobi (ironwallah ), who happened to be at the door. He actually refused to hold the bag with the snake, and it took my mother and me quite a bit of convincing to make him take the bag and discard its content in some far off place!!

I remember the many, many meals she has cooked, and still keeps cooking for us based solely on our desire to eat it, or our preference. Every time I am amazed at this, this enthusiasm to feed us never wanes!!

I remember the many talks and chats we have had, much to my father's jealousy!! As I donned different roles, the relationship with her too gained different shades. Sometimes the empathy was rewarding, sometimes the criticism was irritating. Yet her presence and her opinion, which I take for granted many times, always has a bearing on my actions. As I try to balance the values given to me by her with my own individual identity.

Motherhood is never understood until one lives through it. Perspective, time and maturity are great educators.

I remember...that motherhood is how I will always remember my mother.

Happy Healthy Life Mom!
Happy Birthday!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Another Story teller

Elif Shafak

What a powerful speaker, sensuous, inspiring, and so rooted. The message she gives us is that of breaking barriers within our minds.
Please do watch the entire presentation. It is mind blowing.

Monday, July 12, 2010

The smile

A few words spoken in consolation, a reassuring hand is all that I can extend. A stranger facing an extraneous situation.
I observe the reddened eyes, misty with tears that refuse to fall. Head bowed down, a tremulous smile....

A smile on the face...I look closer. How does one smile through what she has borne?

She left with Him on a holiday, but returned with only memories of Him. Like in a dream...or a nightmare...
Heart Attack they said. They had barely boarded the train when he laid down in unease, never to open his eyes.

Youth and age has no mercy with death. The inevitable hand does strike us as and when it pleases.

The young boy who smiles shyly from the couch knows... yet does not know what has befell him. Does one really understand at any age?

When age and time is sufficiently endured, the death knell doesn't sound so ominous. But what does one do when the youthful are snatched away?

We see the pain in their loved ones.

The smile on her face and her ready words, comforted us in so many ways.
"Dont remind me of the loss", she gently reminded us
"Tell me what you are all doing for the inspection team".
We tripped and slid over our inadequate tongues and gratefully took her cue to make simple conversation. Even joke and smile and pass comments on our lives....

With trepidation we came here to console, but who consoled whom?

The smile I carry with me in my mind and thoughts, to hold for those moments in life when I feel an inadequacy, a loss.

Surely a smile makes a difference to the living, no matter if it is to hide pain.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Woman ...you amaze me!

Women...
We must look good. We need to stand out. We need to be seen. We need to be different. Our clothes must be unique for the occasion, matching accessories.
This doesn't "suit me", that outfit is not to "my taste".
Stripes or vertical lines...("Oh, stripes make me look fat, vertical are so out of fashion...")
I cant possibly wear "studs", I can only wear danglers.

Colours....
Shades....
Fitting....
Texture....
Contrast....
Match....
Drape....
Fashion....
Looking Good...
Feeling Good...

Women...
Being woman is so complicated. It's a serious occupation! And you realise that much more here in the forces.
Every gathering is taken seriously and each person adds her bit in terms of quality and detailing.

We have to do the back drop for the stage: there is some one who points out and insists that the banner should be lined with silver...??!! That makes it stand out you see.
...Ok....
We need to decide on accessory: Round earrings are rejected as they "dont suit", but danglers will interfere with the dance, so what do we wear?...The argument still continues...and our programme is on Tuesday!....
...ok....
Hair down or up?...Pony doesn't suit me....(Thank God I cut my hair...very short,and don't really need to mull on this)
...ok....
Saree colours have to be matched....(why cant we wear suits?)...can't tell you in this sweltering Kanpur heat, wearing a saree is like jumping into a hot tub with your clothes on...

Women...
Seriously we are so complicated. We look into so many details, and aspects of appearance. It amazes me.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Re-debut....donning my dancing shoes....errr...payals?!!

I realised today how much I miss dancing.

Flash back:
Five years old...or six, I don't remember exactly but that's the time we, my sister (who is a year and a half older to me) and I started our formal training in dance. I have vague memories of this time. But I remember going to class, sometimes dad would drop us with mom in tow. Yet mostly we would walk to class that was a good 2/3km walk those days. Come to think of it, I really amaze at the ease with which we used to get every where by walk or by cycle, while now my car and I are inseparable (in-spite of the lectures I give my children on global warming...hmmmm that's another story!). I remember getting there on cycle, chauffeured by our all in one helper...Ramasamy, if I am not mistaken...
We used to spend quite a lot of time in class. That was also because our teacher was a friend of my parents and she also really liked girls....having two boys herself. It was our second home. Sometimes we would even have our lunch or dinner at "Teacher's" house, as we waited for Dad to pick us up.
Their house also had a wonderful West Indies Berry tree, that gave us some wonderful red, juicy and slurpicious fruits in season, which we would happily pluck and horde and gorge with joy.
We danced and danced and enjoyed those sweaty hours spent in class, star students that we were. I don't know if I cribbed too much about going to class, but we danced through 12 years of class!!

Present:
So what happened in the interim was a slow withdrawal, that happens after marriage and childbirth. Not necessary but inevitable in my case as I stopped practice and slowly went into a self imposed exile brought on by lack of opportunity and confidence.
Yet now I vow to grab opportunity whenever I can. So here I am practicing for a group dance that we are doing for the arrival of a VIP in the station. The heady joy of practice sessions, hurrying through chores to get there with player, CD and dupatta!
Absorbing the "Taal" the beat, the "Sur" the music and getting into the rhythm. Such sweet pleasure.
The enthusiasm, interest, sincerity, and involvement of the ladies, takes me back to my college days where we lived on stage.(Like pub hopping; at college we would fling ourselves into "Cultural" frenzy, dancing here, singing there, auditioning here and winning there!!)
Discussing costume and jewelery, hair do and coordination. It is indeed with nostalgia I write these words, waiting for the day of my re-debut on stage after 15 long years....

Thursday, July 1, 2010

random thoughts

The unexpected happens unexpectedly!!
We go through some parts of life thinking that some things are quite impossible or improbable, and then life goes right ahead and proves that anything can happen at any time, and we are not as much in control as we think.
Mind waves or thought waves have immense power to change or alter the process of life.

I may appear to be saying two completely different things.
One talks about Indian attitude of fate/karma and inevitability of events and the other a Western attitude of ownership and accountability and the power in us to effect change.

In my mind they co-exist. Many aspects of living doesn't occur on a unidimensional plane of activity. Every thing is a culmination or amalgam of different processes and life and living is about an individual effecting change in his environment consciously while at the same time investing immense unconscious energy as well.

A unique spiral dimension where energies from within and without interact dynamically to create our existence.