Thursday, March 30, 2017

And we celebrate Navratri.. wearing the colour of the day all through the festival. This is from the last Oct, 2016. The child had so helpfully created a collage to make it easier to share with friends and family. The lazy mumma didn't bother to as much as forward it on whatsapp. To be fair to me, I don't even have whatsapp on my phone - so you could perhaps find it in your heart to forgive me!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

The 'Art' of living

Last year, I attended a couple of 'Art of Living' programs - more on the insistence of a fellow colleague than becuase of any real interest. S, my colleague and friend is an active AOL volunteer, and she literally dragged me to the 'Sahaj Samadhi' program. I liked the meditation techniques and it was a weekend well spent. I even practised the meditation for a couple of weeks after the initial training. S then enrolled me in the basic program which is called the 'Happiness Program'. Now, this is where they teach the famous breathing techniques and also dole out some general gyan. To me, the gyan was superfluous, I have acquired enough during my stay on the planet to qualify as an AOL teacher myself. And the breathing exercises tired me out. My allergies often lead to labored breathing and I somehow manage to inhale/exhale just about enough air to survive. It is really too much to expect controlled & patterned breathing from me. So long story short, the Happiness program didn't make me too happy. Alright, there were some funny moments, like the instance when the instructor advised me to join the 'YES' program - designed for 13-18 yo's. Yes.. despite the crow feet, the sagging skin and the occasional gray! I had to politely decline and inform that I am bit mature for that, by a factor of 2. My tryst with AOL pretty much ended with the Happiness program, and I didn't attend any further programs or follow up sessions.

Today, after a really long break, I went back for a morning follow up session - which was focussed(not again!) on the breathing techniques. It was difficult, but I decided to not try too hard and just do what I can. My eyes were shut all through, so I have no idea if the instructor noticed me cutting a slack. After the exercises, we were asked to lie down and look into our internal selves. I groped my yoga mat to determine the edges, ensured that my limbs don't run off it and reclined. After a while, I kid you not - I felt a surge of energy in my head. I clearly felt bright and warm, and it only continued to get brighter and warmer. It was like achieving some kind of higher consciousness - what do we know, this was absolutely my first experience. I basked in the light and warmth of my elevated self. After what felt like an eternity, we were finally asked to sit up. I opened my eyes to discover that the sun had come up in the time that I worked on my breathing and self-analysis, and light was falling directly on my face. So much for the enlightenment!

In any case, the session got over and we were briefed about the upcoming programs. One of them was customised for kids, and the coordinator asked me if I would like to enrol Pari for it. I have absolutely no intention of sending her for any of it. Also, Pari will be off for her summer vacations on those dates, and so it was easy for me to turn down the offer. However, when I returned home, I asked Pari, mostly in jest and slightly out of curiousity, if she would like to attend the AOL session. My child, clear-headed as always, responded - 'I don't need it Mumma.. I am already happy!'. These days, I often find myself torn between having an achiever kid and a happy child. Apparently, we are doing well in at least one of the departments.


Friday, March 24, 2017

Pari'ism 6-12-2016

This happened last Dec, and the post is pulled from the drafts.

I purchase a piano and it gets delivered to our home. Pari is overly excited about it and jumping off the walls. She tends to get excited over anything and everything that is new and that doesn't concern her. Thankfully, the excitement lasts only until the novelty wears off, which depending on the object varies from a couple of minutes to a couple of days. Coming back to the piano, we somehow manage to squeeze the instrument in our guest bedroom, sandwich it between the dressing table and the bed, post which the technicians' proceed to respectfully unwrap it. Pari obviously doesn't leave its side for one moment. My almost 10 yo observes the unwrapping with the anticipation and curiousity of a 3 yo who may well be about to witness the biggest marvel of life. The covers are taken off, and the sight of an actual piano at such close quarters makes the child delirious. She takes one good look at it and joyfully proclaims - "Mumma, look -- our piano has a brake and an accelerator. Just like the car, it has a clutch too!"  Pari has seen grand pianos before, but apparently, this is the first time that she notices the pedals.

Later in the day, she places her casio keyboard on the stool and shoves it under the piano. I am summoned again - "Mumma, good news: our piano has a baby now". We are raising a stand-up comedian, me thinks!

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Joka Diary - 10/7/2011

I was just going through my drafts, looking for some near-complete post and this caught my eye. It is such a nice memory.. wonder why it got stuck in drafts. Anyways, this will have to be my post for today!

Yesterday was Pari's half birthday, she turned half-an-year older. Papa had already reached Alld. well in time, as did the cake from Dadu. Both nani's and the two favorite mausi's were present for the celebrations, and Pari had a blast. Only caveat being, none of them, absolutely nobody realized that it was her half birthday, except ofcourse mumma, who happens to be too far from the child to make an impact. Pari is exceptionally fond of celebrating birthdays and the family obliges whenever she expresses an inclination for it. Any family gathering is coupled with a cake and some ribbons to transform into a birthday party. She had 4 of them last year.

Now because it was Pari's half-birthday yesterday, it happens to be my birthday today. We are exactly 6 months apart. Being away from home, I didn't expect it to be much. Which is why when the batch invited us for a booze party, I readily grabbed the offer. I didn't want to be alone on my birthday, and a bunch of drunk classmates almost always makes for good entertainment. We reached the boys' hostel around 10.15 am, and lot of snacking, drinking, singing and dancing ensued. I had fun, just by watching people have fun. Around 11.30, I decided to call it a day, and started to leave, but my friends showed reluctance and insisted that we stay on a little more. The boys' hostel is about 400 metres from our hostel and I would've walked back alone but for my fear of the Joka snakes. They are just about everywhere these days. So much that I am actually getting used to them snakes. Anyways, I agreed to wait a bit and at the stroke of midnight, the music changed to the customary birthday song and a cake appeared out of nowhere. I am sure the girls had ratted on me! I know that I am not known for being perceptive but I do take pride in a strong intuition. So, it is rather stupid how I had failed to see through this. The cake cutting was followed by more dancing and we all had a great time.

Now that I think of it, I have not had such an enjoyable birthday in a long time. Also, it felt really special because so far, none of our classmates have been treated to such an elaborate birthday celebration. We are mostly too busy meeting deadlines for assignments to bother about a fellow student growing an year older. In any case, this can easily be my best memory of Joka!

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Starting something new..

Pari had a field visit recently, and returned home particulary tired. One may assume that the fatigue was due to going through an eventful day on a near empty stomach. As a matter of principle, she doesn't touch any food that is offered  by the organisers on such trips- which, to most kids is very enticing, but doesn't appeal to our child. However, when has lack of nourishment bothered the apple of our collective eyes. She was wornout because she had been making notes on all the things that she saw in the museum so that she can continue to refer to her diary whenever she forgot any of it. My immediate reaction was to tell her that it is alright for people to forget things that they see in museums - particularly because many museums house more objects that one can possibly see in a day, let alone remember. The British Museum boasts of 8 million objects, though only 1% objects are on display at a given time. That is still a LOT! Also, isn't it more fun just enjoying the museum than documenting it?

I am not sure how much of what I said made way into Pari's head, but it did remind me of my younger self on a South India trip way back in 1994. It was family trip - with a motley group -12 people from 4 diff places in groups of 3 who had all congregated in Hyderabad for summers. We had all gathered for my cousin's birthday, and got bored of staying home which is why my aunt had to organise this trip from us. We travelled for about 10 days visiting Bangalore, Ooty & Mysore and I remember myself taking copious notes all through - because just like Pari, I didn't want to forget any of it. Also, like Pari, I wanted to carry my notes back to Allahabad so that my parents & siblings could enjoy my travels vicariously. Little did we know then, that in not-so-distant future South India would become home to me, and we will all get to spend months and years in Bangalore! Nevertheless, I am thinking of chronicling my travel experiences once again and start a travel diary on the blog. Which means that I will need to start taking pictures, and decent ones at that of the places I visit. This is sounding a tad ambitious at this point, but let me not give up without trying. On that note, I am ready to relive Angkor Wat.. tomorrow!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Letting go..

At some point in life, we all learn to let go of things, loosen our hold on stuff.. it is 'when we learn' that makes all the difference. For some it comes naturally, a lesson learned early in life, while for others the wisdom dawns a tad late. There exists a third set too, the unfortunate ones who go before they get to let go. And then there are people who learn their lessons, forget them and then learn again, only to forget again, very conveniently at the slightest temptation. I belong to the incorrigible lot.

When did I let go? Lot of times actually. I had let go when I decided to have Pari. Again, when I quit my job to bring her up. I had let go when I finally put her in a daycare. And when I left my home and my family to come to Joka. Letting go doesn't come easily to me. But I have done it so many times.. I can certainly do it once again. I just wish it doesn't hurt so much. Actually, it shouldn't. After all, letting go of one thing is the only way to free ourselves to catch hold of something else.. something new and more meaningful, hopefully happier too.

Monday, March 20, 2017

New year revolution

I am a compulsive procrastinator. Things have come to the point where I am not even ashamed of admitting this because I have stopped considering it as my fault. It is just who I am, a part of my constitution. It is embedded in my DNA, though we are yet to discover another existing family member lethargic to this extent. For all we know, this gene could've skipped a couple of generations and finally emerged as the dominant one in my being. Procrastination is the eternal bane of my life.
The ever-growing list of posts in my drafts contrasts sharply with the miniscule number that manages to see the light of the day, and is a testimony to this. That said, my last ditch effort to revive this blog is here. I am going to post here once daily until the end of the month. Just to prove to myself that I can! Like Pari says- this could be my new year 'revolution'. To her, one cannot make a resolution in the middle of the year, it is always on new year's day. Perhaps because that is when the earth completes a revolution of the sun, making it an optimal time for us to make a 'revolution' too!

ps. Pari has 'revolved' to not poke her nose in to others' business. Unfortunately, 'others' doesn't seem to include us and the rest of the family, but otherwise, the decision seems to be working well for her, particularly in school.