SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Friday, March 16, 2012

The Visitor




We have a visitor to our balcony nowadays. It was K who spotted it first.

( Actually speaking, K-boy is deeply into nature nowadays...ahem...don't be too mislead by that statement...this purely translates into 

fact 1) TV viewership having shifted from Pogo to Animal Planet

fact 2) Tall claims that he will (or has already) caught a King Cobra with his bare (bear??) hands.

so that means I have to watch him, (mind you, every time he shows this to me, I have to eagerly view it like I am seeing it for the first time), hold a wooden snake by the tail, and grab its head like they show on TV
or
I have to watch his blow by blow account of: 
"How to escape from a Python when it has swallowed half your body" demo..

"Nothing Happens Amma, the python will not do any harm till it swallows your legs...maybe a bone could break...but only after it reaches your hips then the bones will actually start breaking. By that time you have to take out your knife and push the Python's jaw wide and then wriggle out"...

The initial version had him cutting open the Python's jaw...but he quickly changed that to say the Python should go away safely, and he too should run away to safety...
Really touching the pinnacles of his empathy for animals.

Now I am not much of an animal lover, though my spouse is very good with animals...( amongst other species...hehehe), so I don't know where this sudden fondness for animals has engulfed the Chota Bheem. 

So much so that our neighbors dog/puppy has not been spared. Luckily for me/ us they are more than willing to have this enthu-cutlet escort their little-pup-growing-larger-in-leaps-and-bounds lovely labrador on it's daily walk. He (K, not the pup) actually sets the alarm and at 4:00 pm sharp steps out to pick up another friend, and the two, taking serious cognizance of their responsibility of  "walking the neighbor's dog", walk the dog for 45 minutes, every day for the last 10 days! 

Amazing

He comes back smelling of slobber, (but then...only I care...no one else really bothers), to regale us of his friend's (the pup, not the human friend) antics, and how he is the only one who can handle the troublesome, truant puppy!!

Love it

So coming back to the pigeon in our balcony....Oh, Yes. The guuuutterrr....guuuutterrr, is such a pleasant, morningy sound...
It is a baby ( input from husband), for it lands inside the balcony but finds it difficult to fly up and out....He/ She walks around a bit, guuuuttterring, and that's when I managed a few snaps. Irresistible, when he/she was posing so much for me...
The pics were specially taken for Junior Explorer to see when he came back from school...    







Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Call for Change

 
A six letter word...no escaping it...
It stalks you, it nabs you by the throat and shakes you out of complacency...
It is that persistent verb-adjective (verb when you choose to do something, and an adjective when you exclaim it).
It compels you to take those baby steps as a toddler and much latter determines how or where you are in life...


How many times has our inner mind shouted out unable to vocalise for fear of reprimand...
  CHANGE...I say...change


Change is the only constant in life...
How I hate and admire that word...


I have had my battles with change, life defining, soul wrenching....
But...leaving my personal battles aside...

I scream out for one humongous change... I Yell for it, I fight for it, I work for it, within myself and where ever I get a chance ...To leave this world a Safe place for our children


Physically Safe, where children are not scared of being beaten, burnt and abused...


Emotionally Safe, where children are not scared to say what they want to say, to express their feelings with no shame or repression... 

Creatively Safe to explore, create, learn, unlearn, relearn, not dependent on narrow minds to define learning, do it joyfully and with interest...


Sexually Safe to explore, experiment, understand, not be judged, accept, be accepted, but only not get hurt nor hurt any other...

Religiously Safe to follow and find meaning with any form of spirituality that interests and inspires, with no discrimination or disparity, but only through dialogue and discussion...

Organically Safe to live and have access to opportunities, no matter what is their ability or disability, this a matter of discovery rather than a monumental struggle...


Wonderful loving spaces, where children are only gently guided to express their true selves...learning and growing  with their adult...no question ignored, no feeling too unimportant...every ability and inability seen as a scope for understanding...every experience a scope for growth...


Into that Freedom of Space, My Lord let my World Awake (forgive me babu-moshai; Gurudev to many; for this blatant plagiarism)

Very serious stuff, I know...but we are hounded by an immediate past that struggles and we really, really need to make this Change for the Future...

....Emotional Safety and Security for our children..that is the change we should seek...

                                                                                                        ...all else will follow...



 
(and this post is for Stayfree-Time to Change, call for Bloggers)

Many Connections Later...





Snippets of memories swirl through my mind...after all the past is retained in our neurons as impressions, chemical pathways that reignite as we browse back into the realms of our childhood, teen, adulthood, to extract those Real moments of being connected.

Flashback...
Lethargic Chennai summer spent with Paati in a one room tenement, in Tamil that was known as "ondu kuduthanam"; where a rich landlord would sublet rooms in his property to others from his same community/caste. (I am sure it exists even now in quintessential Mylapore)...
Thats where this story takes us as well...to Paati in her traditional nine yards, a widow, in her one room/ kitchen kept spic and span, in the by lanes of Mylapore near the Kappali temple...our summer retreat.
There was so much to do; playing Daya kattai (Ludo), or Palankhuzhi (I don't even know the English equivalent for this) with her in the afternoons, Paandi (hopscotch) in the evenings, jumping walls to play cricket with the  neighbor, or walking into the other tenements to eat with the aunties there....

Feeling very privileged to be allowed into the House Owners inner rooms. Like those houses they show in old Tamil movies, rooms used to pop out from nowhere...long winding steps to upper chambers, more rooms, big balconies. My sister and I have even got lost there once....

Vividly remember having to enter this house through their kitchen, we used to walk...nee...tiptoe through like we were untouchables....all because we felt honoured to be allowed to play inside...

The reason for that was that we had made friends with 2 girls (daughters of Family A and Family B) that lived in that grand house (there were so many who lived in that house, I never could figure out who belonged to whom...not that I cared for that too much!)

We played and played cards, endlessly....carrom too I think ...but I forget... the greater advantage was that we were allowed to sit inside and watch TV in the evenings...

Eating extremely sour buttermilk and rice at night, kept in special porcelain jars by Paati, as she did not have any fridge...

Trudging with her every evening to Kappali temple and Parthasarathy temple...to spend the whole evening watching the world go by, while she gossiped with friends...or sitting through Kalakshepams ( religious storytelling), hosted by the temple....enthralled by the music, the energy, the smells, the crowd, the stories.... 

Innocently tagging along with her as accomplices to watch latest Tamil blockbusters at the Kapali Theatre, matinee or noon show I think...eating whatever she bought us from the vendor there...

Parents blissfully unaware what we were up to, no cell phones or daily check ins...mostly if Father was passing by he would drop in to see if everything was ok or if we wanted anything, ...till he decided we had had a good enough break and took us back (break for us or for them??)...

Take us back to our 3 bedroom bungalow...Oh yes, my father was a wealthy man...and even had his own car!!...(and we were all of 6 and 7 years at this time, my mother having delivered her 3rd baby!!) 

Connected...real...no whining...no missing...
just experiences...living...adventure...
memories...strange maybe...but so alive

 More memories...
Of sitting on strangers lap while traveling on lugubrious Mail trains to Mumbai (nay Bombay).
Chattering, asking, questioning...boring them maybe...yet no feeling of doubt or lack of trust...so accepting and allowing...


Many many afternoons spent climbing the wall, throwing stones at gooseberries on the neighbors tree...scrambling to pick them up and jump back safely in...

Learning to cycle on a borrowed Hero (adult sized)...on roads that luckily had no traffic...

So many, many connected days...

 (A blog post for Kissan-Indiblogger; 100% Real experiences...Thanks Asha!

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

About Ear worms and Happiness





Ear worm, is the word my husband popped into my mind before leaving for work; apparently BBC had an article about these things...
 ....Ear worm is music that stays with you, in your mind and in your ears, through the day; like a flea on the dog's back, impossible to shake away...
so I guess we have to shake to it...

Today I woke up with this Ear worm:
Happiness, Happiness is making people Happy....

 I can't shake it off...I just Cant...

But I have to analyse this too..

Is happiness really about making people Happy...though this preschool diddle is meant to make the little ones more pliant and better behaved..I feel it doesn't convey all what happiness really is about
I guess it should read...
Happiness, Happiness is making myself Happy....

But then this can trigger off thoughts like what if squishing insects makes me happy...or if tearing up my sister's favorite book makes me happy....hmmm..then we have a serious issue at hand....

Yet for the most part of us, which is not wallowing in irrational anger or unhappiness...happiness is really unearthing those simple thoughts and feeling happy
Happiness is an experience
Happiness is an engagement
Happiness is the cooing and gurgling sound of the soft and sweet baby
Happiness is the full throated laughter of a baby playing peek-a-boo
Happiness is children when they love to be with you
Happiness is when children are teaching you
Happiness is when children are enjoying what they do
Happiness is when children are in discovery.

Happiness is watching the moon and sharing it (if possible) with someone you love too
Happiness is delicious conversations with another soul
Happiness is seeing joy in your parent
Happiness is being healthy
Happiness is a joke that is shared
Happiness is the breeze that cools me when we take a drive to somewhere.

Happiness is food, the sweet sweet melon (that takes my breathe away every time),or even the roasty crisp potatoes with curd rice, or the sinful chocolate sundae/banana split.
Happiness is so simple, yet what we spend our lifetime searching for; outside...if we only learnt that the trick is to look within earlier, we would be Happier by far

SMILE AND THE WORLD SMILES WITH YOU:)