SOULTales - Character Strengths, Stories & Vocabulary

Friday, December 31, 2010

New Year is in!

New year is in!

You know I am this nostalgia freak, so here I go again!

New year eve, was a blast when growing up. We either went to someone's house, or we had people home, or if my father could not get people home because they were doing things at their home, then the family gathered together and that crowd is enough to fill a mini bus, I assure you.

He would catch all cousins and relatives passing through, invite them over and make it an occasion! Regardless of that fact that slightly grown up occupants in the house would like to make other in my Uncles or myself for that matter!! He would pout...and we would all tow the line, oblige him by pulling ourselves over to the drawing room for a fun filled New Year Bash.

This Bash , ran along the same lines almost every year!!

( I am going to be pulled up for this post!! But hey, I realised today, Jan 1st 2011, that I have some more white hairs and that entails me to a bit more honesty!)

Food...from my mothers fragrant kitchen ( many times potluck, as my aunts pitched in)

Nostalgia...from everyone's lips,as you will be aware by now, my father's friends and family were usually old( ok, so I get it from there!)

Music...was live; as all those who could sing, would not sing, could not sing, did sing, did not sing, did not want to sing were made to sing!!

Dance...accompanied the singing, usually this was lead by a contigent of the tiny tots in the house.

Stories abounded, bonding abounded!

Now lets cut to after wards....

The first new year after marriage was great.....we slept in!

Over the years depending on my mood, or the place we are living in at that time, we either join a group, or we don't.
Left to my partner; we don't, and left to me; we do!

This year my daughter wanted to bake a cake, and I did it for her. In spite of a splitting headache and a reluctant hand. I was not the epitome of happiness when I did it. And she knew that. Yet she was patient and gentle with me.
The cake came out well, well...she liked it, or did she say that to make me happy? I wonder.

Any occasion, is very well that. These days and dates are reminders to us to apply that break. To take a look at the past, present and future. To reorient ourselves to reality and future possibilities. We can do it on any day, why you can do it on Jan 5th and make it the New year...

Yet the message in this is that we take a day for ourselves to assess, evaluate and assimilate be with ourselves and our dream new possibilities and opportunities for reinvent a new way of living for ourselves... every New Year....

Start afresh with new hopes....
Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sibling Bonding

"Amma, he is putting his foot in my mouth!"

"Amma, he is not letting me into the bathroom"!

"Amma, he is kicking me"

"Amma he has taken my pencil"

"Amma he is trying to remove my panties!!!!!"

"Amma she is calling me cheeky( as in chubby cheeks!!)!"

"Amma she is staring at me"

"Amma she is teasing me"

"Amma she is irritating me"

"Amma he is an idiot, pig, I hate him"

"Amma ask her to get out of the house...."

Hullo.....What do we have here??!

They torment and trouble each other, they fuss and fight, they argue and crib...they are a circus pantomime with-all-the-sound-effects act.

I wonder how and where we are heading with this. I am ineffectual as you can see. Poor disciplinarian. I am either pacifying one or the other. Or at other times, just plain give up and ask them to please take a knife and kill each other...

Ok...I know that's rotten and not to be said at any given time....but I go berserk at times...and so you know where they get it from...and so on and so forth...and the vicious cycle goes on....

Yet there is hope...
(Isn't my blog about that always??!!)

I see the two finally in bed.

"Amma story, story", says the younger brat.

"Not today, I am not happy with your behaviour " I say, in my best supercilious tone.

"Ok, then U will tell me"

Hey hold on, what's going on here??!...


He just turns to the most hated occupant of the house and asks her to tell a story...( I don't even hear a please, or maybe the tone has it).

And she does.

It's tata-bye bye mommy and happy times for the twosome.

Wow, they can do a turnabout I think.

Here is another...

Somewhere in the middle of the day, He actually serves her with a bowl of sweets, and she says...hold your breathe...
"Love u da"

Whoa, that's a bombshell in my ears....

Happy and delighted...sure, definitely!!

Then, what is that other rigmarole all about??

Sibling Bonding??

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

deep anguish

The pathos and anguish in his voice will wring your heart. The depth of the loss is so heartfelt...
How can a man show so much it natural?

I am touched and moved..
Nothing has moved him so...ateast I have not seen such deep set emotion in the man

I am bewildered...

"Is it real?" I ask him.

"Are you capable of such emotion, can anything move you so?"

"Oh, yes" came the reply, from nearly tear filled eyes and choked throat....

"India lost the match"

( I know India won the match against South Africa, but this display was for the previous one we lost!!!!!!!!!!!)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Sepia thoughts

I am on the other side of 35 now. Past 36 as well....
Darn, and I don't know what happened the past 15 years!!
So here I go looking back, the very thing many, many people tell you Not to do.

Don't live in the past. Be in the present...Now! Is what they say.

But hold on...memories are sweet to savour.

Take me to those sweet moments with my Thatha and Paati.

Paati (grandmum) who would tell me time and time again. "You are very good girl S, but you are very short tempered. You have to do something about that!"

So after Art of Living and Landmark Forum, finally at this ripe old age I can say I am nearing that desire of controlling my temper. ( Near and Dear ones may beg to differ...still the sceptics know not what I have in store for them!)

Thatha who would be waiting for me to come home after roaming the streets and visiting many possible friends, would be glad to see how many restrictions I impose on my off springs now that I am in the same position!

As I was writing this post, my mother sends me a bunch of old photographs that she has cleared from her cupboard....that now is all set to fill up mine!

There is a resistance in me to see the pictures, a reluctance to go through the past yet again.

No mistakes here, I had a terrific childhood and as my friend delicately put it, a "spoilt one"!! I completely accept the terminology and I can definitely assure you it was so! Those were really fun days, of irresponsibilities, freedom, routine, and a total dedication to living in the isn't that life!

My children are fascinated with some of the earliest and I am glad the photos are serving their purpose. I failed to mention that the reason for so many photos of the decade and half of my initial years was due to the over enthusiastic parent and his passion for photography. (He still has his first camera, a box shaped one!).

There are so many pictures as I enter my teen, I cringe to look at! Over sized spectacles, boot black face( I was in NCC), clothes, for the life of me I cannot understand why I wore them!! So there comes my reluctance.

I can remember most of the places I see on the photographs. Yet some remain vague memories of events that have insignificantly passed on.

There is one of all the cousins; a rare one indeed.

There is one of old, old friends. Friends who I remember but never thought we had on print!

Events and celebrations, people there and not there. I look for the ones missing and wonder why I never captured them. I realise that many people who were important have diminished and vanished from my life, while others who were diminished have significantly come back again. They are captured in my mind's eye only and occupy no other space.

I remember the emotions, reflected on the faces that look at me from the pictures.

I understand the space that I was in when I look at the pictures.

I recapture the distance I have travelled from those captured moments.

I sit on my newly acquired rocking chair, like the old Momma that I am, and wonder at the wonders that we create in this life that we travel.
The people that we meet, hold or let go...and the people we are yet to meet
The places we visit, revisit...and wish to visit
The things that we collect or reject...and hope to collect

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Books For the Carnival!

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(click on collage for enlarged view)

Yes, finally got to put this post up!!

It was carnival time at SSK, and I have been canvassing Pratham books for some time here. So decided to get a stall and sell the books!!

I was so excited; so much so that when I sold 5 sets of books at one go, I got the addition all wrong! ( typical if I say so myself!!)

The folks at Pratham Books were very sweet, not only did they support my eccentricity they had done a great job too. The books arrived all packed in sets of 5 to 6 books, costing 100 to 115 only! Thanks Sanjay!

I really believe the low cost books are amazing in their simplicity of story, and classy in terms of paper quality. Ideal for children who are first time readers/learners of the English language.

I also found a friend in need! Rajini, a Librarian with many years of experience and many more years of passion for books, sat with me at the stall. She too volunteers at the school as the resource room in charge (perfect don't you think?!. That's her in the picture. Terrific saleswoman too, asking and yelling to all sundry to buy Books this Christmas!

We had a blast!

Hope to trumpet Pratham Books at every given opportunity...
Here's to putting a book in every child's hand...
...and here's to spreading the Joy of Reading...

Friday, December 24, 2010

where do i belong?

where do i belong?
a soulless heart

hanging in between
i am neither here nor there

the illusion around
creates my reality

a soul in search
of dreams and destinies

paralleling streams
flowing somewhere

they dare not meet
except nowhere

thoughts reach anywhere
swirling spirals of self,

eddies from the past
cascade into the future

time's fool
un-determine your self

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Game Time Folks

We play games.
Thanks to the path breaking book authored by Dr.Eric Berne by the same name “Games People Play”, all of us, or at least most of us have some awareness of this.
The blame game is one
The victim game another.
The martyr game is another.
The high judge is another.

So now that you have started thinking on these lines. I am sure you are telling yourself,
“No way, I don’t play any game”.
Or you could be saying “Ok I blame at times, but I am not a victim”
Or you could be saying “Hey every one plays games”

Oh Yes, we play games. And no matter what, these games run (and ruin) our lives and our thoughts.

It is only that we don’t or can’t recognize the games that we play.

Ok, so this is what happened.

My daughter is in her preteens! She is the sweetest, mildest and most tolerant soul in the world. But she has her pet peeves and triggers (don’t we all?!). That’s where the father and daughter clash (I have different clashes with her!!).

He openly mocks her, and pulls her leg, and teases her for her different irksome behaviors. That ranges from not eating her lunch fast enough, not wearing enough clothes (so typically male, if you ask me), answering back…..

She tried telling him (doesn’t seem to work), because her telling him always ends in whining or crying (hers), and his continued unabashed mocking/ teasing.
She tried telling me. I am stuck trying to remain balanced between the two. Sometimes telling one to back off, and sometimes telling the other.
(No help at all, she decided.)

Well its Game time folks.

And she hit where it would needle dad the most. Pointing out he is eating too much, or asking him to leave some for the others, or asking him why he needs to eat so much!!

This is tough for me to write, as you can see and I can see how nasty and low, and mean this is becoming. What seems like a low down, mean behaviour is nothing but the game this young one has learnt to play, because….because she does not know any other way to handle this.

Many times I refrain from interfering with these father and daughter dialogues or repartees. Yet this time I did.
I have freshly returned for my sessions with the Landmark Forum, and one of the basic exercises we do, (which I believe I knew what with my psychology background, but I never used or applied it effectively in my life) is to see how and what games we, as people play with each other.
And here it was; a wonderful display. A fantastic game of criticizing and being criticized going on between 2 really nice people.

My point here is that we don’t even know we are playing games. When this escalates I know it will lead to a lot of bitterness, and anger. The only way to snip this is to make them see the game they are playing, and ask them to Stop!

If you would really like to read up about Eric Berne and his work which lead to the development of Transactional Analysis, then click on the link below.
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