SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Monday, August 16, 2010


Every episode leaves an impression in our lives. Some of these we cherish as they are, while some we wish we could reach back and change that moment.
Kanpur leaves some memories with me
The hot sultry summer when we landed here from a cooler clime was an unbearable ordeal in my mind...I remember sleeping, sleeping and sleeping and wondering what's wrong with me...Its the same this summer as far as the sleep is concerned, but I do feel I am better prepared...the air conditioner seems to be on constantly...I know I feel a wee bit guilty about contributing to global warming!

Winter was lovely...though I was worried how we would get through the cold and not to disappoint, Kanpur saw some extremely low temperatures last winter. It is that winter when I had to fill in as substitute for a friend in her school. Boy, was that a challenge! Saree being compulsory, I struggled through thermals/ sweater/ jacket and scarf over and above the saree! Battling the steep stairs, holding on to pallu and pleats, literally racing through the windy corridors to reach the safety of my class. I would still find myself chilled to the bone by the time it was second period! (Makes me wonder for all my love for traveling, whether I can actually travel to colder climes after this experience!)

Yet, what I take back from all this is the wonderful transition that nature makes. Hot, humid, sultry, sweaty, smelly, draining summer, makes way for torrential, incessant, cool, dreamy, peacock dancing monsoon, which soon melts into a cool, chill and then bone chilling cold of winter which again is followed by a beautiful, intoxicating, vibrant burst of colours, as spring sees flowers of all hues enchanting our senses. I have been charmingly sensitized to the change of season, as one does get, living in the North!

I will remember my resident lovely lawn, that I failed to water many times in summer and would get a look of disapproval from my gardener...drives up and down the shady avenues in our campus dropping and picking up children from school...

Memories of filth and squalor, just a step outside our campus...

But I don't want to dwell on negatives.
I now carry the positives with me...

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Bon appetite!

This post like an entree, short and crisp.

Another pet peeve of mine is regarding food.
I love my rajma, chole, paratha, paneer, and peas pulao. I can unabashedly partake of such a meal, especially one that is the home cooked version. crib is why is this the only menu on the table when one is invited for dinner?
Menu planning in my house, I mean in the house I grew up, was done by my father much to my mother's dislike. Yet over the years she resigned herself to this, and inspite of her disapproval of some item on the menu she would make it with no compromise on quality.
Ah, coming to the menu; well, my father would neatly balance couple of South Indian items with couple of North Indian ones, and throw in a Continental item number too ( a baked veggie, if he felt like it)!
Complete in my mind...creative and loads of room for learning.

But nowadays when we are invited to eat, be it a person from the South or the North, I find the chole/paneer/paratha platter glaringly boring.
Come on I wonder, why can't the Malayali serve us some yum Idiyappam/Appam and stew/
Why can't the Kannadiga serve us some Bisi Bele Huli Anna?
Why cant the Andhraite serve us some Peserattu?( Ok this one would be slightly cumbersome on the tummy, especially at night.)
But I guess you get my point by now.

Yes, what with our posting order out, we are doing the rounds. Farewell dinner invites are pouring in left, right and center...thankfully over the weekend only.
I know it is pretty nasty of me to be gorging on freebie dinners and passing snide remarks on my blog!
But ladies lets make the most of our country's rich and varied heritage.
The next time you throw a party, sneak in an item number from your Mother's cook book and see how the guests come salivating for more.
Bon Appetite!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Au Revoir

It's that time again, to move on....

Having a partner whose job entails a migratory shift every 2 or 3 years, sounds fun, especially if you like me, enjoy traveling...but I can assure you fun is something I have stopped associating with this any more.

Yes, its time for us to move again...we have been recalled back by the same unit where my spouse was, one year and 3 months back, whose location is my second home, Bangalore.

Happy ...Yes...
Thrilled in fact...I attribute this entirely to 'Rhonda'esque thought waves that have been streaming forth from the time I landed here in Kanpur.
( For those who have not heard or read Rhonda Byron and her book Secrets...I can only say, read it/ listen to it....the audio book is worth listening to, as she huskily whispers her secret to you, making me wonder why make such a hoo-ha over it if in fact it is a secret.
No, thats not the point, the point is that she says when we start thinking positive thoughts, then we surround ourselves with positive energy, which actually materializes what we want or wish...interesting...
Nothing new, but well said, because we all wish and want so many things and hope that we can get it. Well in my case I can vouch that I did "secretly" have thoughts of going back to Bangalore and presto; we are...
Feel like some magician is there in me....good feeling...going to use this Power more often now!)

Well coming to our move...
Its been a very interesting One year and 3 months. Personally I was able to make a lot of changes within place, so literally a make over, a face change (yep, I got my hair cut!!)
...Involved myself socially. Having a partner who enjoys himself and his own company...I have finally forced myself to see that..."hey, that doesn't work for me", so here's to company and most guilty feelings!!

No more cribbing about their school...hopefully we see a better KV at Bangalore.

The best part of our stay here, is definitely that I managed to visit Khajuraho...that was a great trip, 2 women and 4 kids. My sister and I had a ball traveling alone, hoping to plan more such ones....
A trip to Ayodhya and Lucknow, with my parents...again, thoroughly enjoyed that one...
And to round it off, finally I got to travel with the partner and kids to Agra, to drink in the grandeur of the Taj...intoxicating...

Now throw in participating in 2 dances, directing the Christmas play, Ladies Club secretary, filling in as substitute teacher for 3 weeks...and finally picking up a job in KV as a Spoken English teacher ( for a short spell of 1 and half months...)

Well this stay has been eventful,so I now look forward to filling in more events into my calendar in the near future!

The piece de resistance was the fun farewell party that was hosted for my husband by his unit. If you have pre-conceived notions of how Air force parties are, then take it from me that they can be pretty boring and clichéd.
We gather, every one greets every body (at least tries to), not missing out on seniority, hierarchy is sacrosanct. Drinks and snacks are served. There is a group game, which you are forced to participate, dance and then the formal vote of thanks. By which time kids are sleepy and hungry and I am wishing they would just get it over with, and why I came in the first place!
Well, it was not the case on our farewell day. They got the formal part over in the beginning, that was great, as we actually listened to the CO and his speech (touching that it was).
Then they shoved us on to the dance floor, and well here comes the best started raining!
All of a sudden we had buckets of water pouring over us, and we find every one of us on the dance floor, dancing to some fantastic music!!
Yes my husband included!!
For the first time he allowed himself to dance in public ( he does a lot of private dancing, him and kids only!!), so it was fun for me too to let go!
The best time I have had in a long time....and the clincher for me was when my daughter ran up and said, "Amma I know why it rained today, it's because Appa is dancing in the party!!"
For that I have only one thing to say...Husband's do the darnest things when you least expect it!
That's the way this life goes: unexpected surprises, twists, and down right "I cant believe it is happening to me"!!
Looking forward to more such moments in my life...

Kanpur...Veni, Vidi, Vici....and I move on
Au revoir