Sunday wisdom

Sometimes we become so short-sighted that we ignore what the long term might have in store for us. Being humble is important as it is not sure where life may take us and so is behaving nicely to each and every human being you come across though it is not always the case. These are my thoughts on a cloudy Sunday morning over a cup of coffee. As mother-in-law is around, darling daughter is taken care of in the most jovial way for last few weeks. Today she has trapped her dad into taking her to the Aravallis for bird watching though they both agreed that they won’t go if it rains. Magically, the rains stopped for some time and they are off to the jungle. The newspaper just told me that today is going to be a rainy day! Both me and dear dadi were also invited to the jungle but we had to decline as we imagined getting drenched in the jungle and out came a big no, albeit politely. This did not dampen the father-daughter spirit and they happily took the camera and zoomed off.

I wanted to plan my day but as it is a Sunday, I have decided to go with the flow. But yes, I do not want to be restricted to facebook and whatsapp the whole day as it does become boring after a point. I will pick up something to read but considering my attention span has shortened considerably, I don’t know how long I will be able to read it. Then there are hobbies and crafts that are supposed to occupy my time but laziness rules supreme and I have the capacity to doze off the entire day. The day maid is very new and may not let me relax as she has many queries and I as an ideal stay-at-home housewife have to answer those promptly. So, I do have work for the day but I am dreaming of a hammock and a nice book as companions. I am thinking of dishing out some short stories but am facing the writer’s block lately. It might take some more time to unleash my creativity on that front. Right now, pretty occupied with itsy-bitsy decoupage and just trying to source the raw material from here and there. Planning to try it out on my own without any help. Hubby dear wants to divert my mind towards researching new recipes but to be frank that is not my forte, but I have been unable to say no. Let’s see what all I am able to accomplish this week while aiming to achieve the ikigai of life. More on that front in my next post. Stay tuned…

Book review: Educated by Tara Westover

Time for a book review on gutfeel. Read on…

Educated is a memoir by Tara Westover which has quickly climbed the success ladder due to its neat prose and simple writing. It is actually the story of Tara from her childhood days to the present. There is a flow in the book as when you will pick it up you would want to go back to complete it as soon as possible. The setting is of Buck’s peak, south western Idaho in America where Tara’s family lived. They were actually Mormon survivalists who did not believe in sending their kids to school. Tara’s father suffered from bipolar disorder and the family had to witness his ideological mania over and over again. Her mother was a midwife and herbalist whose business prospered later in the day and she gained much reputation with her herbs and tinctures.

Tara was the youngest of the seven children who had to study on their own as there was no emphasis on the studies. Rather, children were made to work in Gene’s junkyard scrapping metal and cleaning other stuff. Whenever anyone got hurt they were not allowed any medical care as the father thought that it was against the wishes of the lord. So when Tara has tonsillitis, she is made to stand in the sun with her mouth open so that it gets healed itself. When Gene gets burned, even then they do not take him to the hospital though the burns were severe. They make do with the balms that Faye prepares for Gene.

When Tara joins a singing group, the clothes they wear are termed whorish by the father. The negative influence of younger brother Schwan on Tara is evident throughout the book. He would get mad with her if she did not do as expected.

Tara is interested in studies and tries to clear the ACT so that she can join college. She just didn’t want to do the junkyard work anymore. While at BYU, she gets exposed to the outside world for the first time and her professor sees the spark in her and sends her on a scholarship to Cambridge. From Cambridge, she further goes on to Harvard for her doctorate. She does have a few boyfriends, but she is unable to confide in them about her family.

Educated just shows how someone who was not even homeschooled properly can go on to achieve the degrees that most people would die for. To be frank, real education is not really about the degrees but is a freedom of choice and facing reality with all your guts. It means living with passion and doing what you love most so that you achieve the real purpose in your life.

Random musings

The suicide of VG Siddhartha has yet again brought depression to the forefront. He was unable to pay his debts and as a result chose the easier route to eternal peace. He didn’t want to take any further blame for the dire situation at Café Coffee Day. CCD is a popular coffee outlet for the youngsters as one can sit there without being disturbed for long. Even free Wi-Fi is available.

Depression can ruin anyone’s life but when it goes out of hand it takes the form of suicide. People with depression are so despondent at times that they don’t think even once how their near and dear ones will cope with the situation once they are gone. The mind plays games that no one knows about. It is very necessary to contain the problem before it goes out of hand either through medication or counselling or both in moderation. The role of family members in providing support to the depressed is also of utmost importance.

Another interesting piece of news that I came across today related to a customer asking for a non-muslim guy for delivering food from Zomato as saavan is going on. He received a befitting reply from the founder Deepinder Goyal, “We aren’t sorry to lose business that comes in the way of our values.” Actually it is a dangerous trend which should be contained as early as possible. Such absurd demands cannot be met and they only show the mental bankruptcy of the person demanding.  

India is a secular state and people should be encouraged to treat the fellow men in the same regard. There should be no distinction based on caste or creed and everyone should be treated with equal respect though sadly that is not the case. But the bottomline is that whenever there is an opportunity to put things right, we should do that as was done by Zomato founder.

Goodbye, Beetle

Beetle, as a pup

I lost my baby Beetle yesterday. He was a pet dachshund and lived his life to the fullest, being ill for about a month before moving away to a whole new world. I am still coming to terms with the fact that he is no more around and I can’t take his name often. I am remembering all the good moments spent with him one by one. He was always active and jovial at home. Outside of home, he used to become a bit territorial but we could manage that. I was his mom and he was closest to me though Harsha and Eva were also very close to him, something I witnessed when his last rights were being performed. All of us broke into tears as we shared a bond and Beetle was our family member.

What was the most funny thing about Beetle? Well, he had a liking for the carpet in the living room and used to dig right in its middle whenever he felt like. It was as if a tunnel was being built with all diligence. This breed, dachshund, are famous for their digging and hunting capabilities. Also, he had a very loud bark, enough to scare a non dog lover. He used to guard the gate with all his might and wouldn’t allow anyone to come in easily. I had to lock him up briefly before I could even talk to the person at my door. Whenever I felt low, he would come and sit with me and try to comfort me.

Beetle was a perfect apartment dog and stayed with us for close to 15 years. We will miss him terribly and the void cannot be filled by anyone else. I feel like I have lost someone very near and dear. Hope he finds even more loving parents in his next life. You will live with us in our memories, Beetle! Goodbye for now.

When will these deaths stop?

The death of over 150 children in Muzaffarpur, Bihar has shown us the real face of the Nitish government there. Although he has been ruling the roost since 2005, it is sad to see that the hospitals are not even equipped to provide basic medical facilities to the patients of AES (Acute Enchephalitis Syndrome). Don’t know how many more children will face the dead end. After this medical emergency, the Supreme Court has asked the Nitish government as well as the Centre to clarify why such a thing happened in first place. I am sure they don’t have any reasonable response to that. Remember that medical care is the basic right and such a thing is unacceptable under current situation.

AES supposedly happens by eating unripe Litchi fruit by the already malnourished children. Who is responsible for the health of these kids? I understand that basic healthcare comes before education and should have been handled that way. Do the policies of the Nitish government take into account such emergencies, people are asking. The hapless parents have nowhere to go. They are just witnessing the saddest part of their life, the death of their child. Is the government even thinking about some sort of compensation for these parents, though nothing would be enough as of now. Only time can heal such wounds, that too to a small extent.

The newspaper says that it is an extraordinary situation. Well I don’t agree. There is nothing extraordinary about it, it is just pathetic. Hope the whirlwind of deaths stop soon.

Blog: Daily musings

Was checking my e-mail and it came as a rude shock that my Amazon Prime order has been converted to pay on delivery. They didn’t provide any specific reason for it, though. The maid has not turned up (she can have a headache too) and I am left wondering how to cope up with that.

Hubby dear has got a new music system installed in the car and he gladly takes us down for a demo of the same, gadget lover that he is. We hop into the car and praise it liberally. Darling daughter is busy with her own stuff, this being the last week to enjoy holidays as it is back to school from July 1st. I casually pick up the newspaper only to be bogged down by the horrible and unfortunate news of a depressed teacher killing whole of his family as he and his wife were not keeping well. Strange are the ways of the world…

I try to turn my mind to something else and request Alexa to play some songs. Alexa promptly starts playing my favourites. Definitely a mood booster, that is. And Alexa has her moods too. When she doesn’t want, she will not turn on the lights. Does come up with some or the other reason.

The pet dachshund is hard to please these days and will do his own thing. Even in summers he seems to love the sun and is found lying in the kitchen where the sun comes in. Old age has set in.

Yesterday darling daughter came back from swimming with a serious concern, “Mumma, why don’t these 3-4 year old boys go and change in the men’s room?” I said that their mothers or helps must be bringing them to the ladies room. “Yes mumma, but how come they have the audacity to do that!!” My girl was sufficiently concerned and I had to say that I will bring up the matter on the group. Women’s liberation jindabad!

Have a wonderful week ahead!

Made for each other?

They had been together for two whole years, whether at the workplace or at home. They were totally inseparable. Jai and Arshi were made for each other, but still could not gather courage to tie the knot, even though they were living together. Jai had gone through a tough time when his first marriage collapsed and he had vowed not to get into the tangles of marriage again. Arshi knew this well and was okay with it. But her clock was ticking. Even though they had successful careers, the thought of a child lingered in Arshi’s mind. She wanted to feel complete, and it was motherhood alone that could give her that feeling.

One day, while having lunch together, Arshi did try to raise the question of ‘marriage for the sake of society’, only to be snubbed by Jai. “Have we ever thought of society?” and “Do you have time for marriage mumbo jumbo?” Arshi had no option but to remain quiet after that.

When Anand joined the office as a manager, he won many hearts right away due to his witty nature. Incidentally, he had to sit next to Arshi and soon after, her life was in for a change. Anand made Arshi laugh and slowly he made his way into Arshi’s heart, only to learn later that she was already taken. But he understood that something was wrong.

Jai and Arshi had lunch together and did not allow any third person as a rule. But one day when Arshi asked Jai if Anand can have lunch with them, he couldn’t say no.  “I have to talk to Arshi. I have to put things right.” But Arshi had already made her choice.

A fresh start

When I see the world from pure lenses,

There are many things that awaken my senses,

I see purity in a mother’s eye,

I hear the laughter in a child’s voice,

I see the nature which is pure and untouched,

I notice a person who is inspired and unperturbed,

I hear friendly voices over cups of coffee,

I see the sailing boats coming from deep seas,

I hear the chants that help meditate,

These are some words that we should replicate,

These things truly warm my heart,

And give my mind a fresh start!

Reflections

Whenever I close my eyes to relax,

It’s not always to sleep but to reflect,

It is necessary to reflect after a tough day,

To help understand what went well and what went awry,

Our reflections portray our inherent character,

So don’t get swayed if there is something to bother,

You get a chance to correct your misdoings,

And start with a prayer in the fresh mornings,

Every day you’ll learn a thing or two,

When you reflect without much ado,

So keep that smile on your lips,

And find your inner peace and the bliss.

Keep your chin up

Whenever you are despondent and nothing seems right,

Keep your chin up.

When the winds are not blowing in the right direction,

Keep your chin up.

When someone troubles you with meaningless words,

Keep your chin up.

If the weather is bad and you want to remain sad,

Keep your chin up.

Because this small gesture can lift your mood,

And take you out of your brood.