The Batter boon

Today I made my idly batter after a gap of 10 days!

It’s not just 10 days but 10 long days, as the batter was over 4 days back itself and only I knew the difficulty of going through the past 4 days without the support of idly batter in the refrigerator. And it is not only the morning breakfast but night dinners too are tiffins at home.

This story has been the same for decades, for me. When there is batter in the fridge, I feel like I am on top of the world, ready to face anything as the battle of making tiffin at home is sorted out.

But without that semi-solid-y batter to support me, I feel bereft of ideas to cook! Upma, pongal, paratha, poori, aval, idiyappam, wheat rava, rava dosa, pidi kozhakattai, oats, bread and all other kinds without the batter, will be done in a jiffy and I will be back to square one – which is my thinking square on what to cook for that day!

It’s a catch 55 situation – when batter is there, I want to cook something else; but when I run out of batter, I run out of ideas too! Sigh!

Batter is available to buy – yes, yes, I know! But oopsie! We have tongues that put up a war front when given dosa made with store-bought batter! I do buy it sometimes when I am too drained out but home-made batter has a special place in heart.

As of now, I have the boon for tiffins and the space is set for the next 4 to 5 days! I shall face the music when I run out of batter.

Now, I will enjoy my idly and sambar 😀

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Svadhyaya

I hope to express myself as best as I can, to justify the use of this title for this post.

Now…continuing from my previous post

I sat next to him, listening to all his ifs and buts, in case the inevitable had happened. My mouth agape, I was slightly in awe of this husband of mine. Among the many others who are afraid to talk about death or its effects on the family, here was a man whose mind had worked overtime thinking about all the probabilities.

When he asked me if I would have continued the business in his absence, I took a long time, actually a few months, to think over that question. I gave it a lot of time and thought deeply over it. The first task was to understand as to why did I even go into this business with him. I found many answers like – I like food, cooking, cooking for others but none matched the passion and drive required to run a business which my husband possessed. It involved more than the love for cooking or food. It needed great vision, deep passion, courage to face challenges and a deep routed confidence to handle the extraordinary amount of work it required. Slowly and steadily the entrepreneurship will become a part of you which you just cannot leave it at the shake of a hand. I comprehended all these requirements of running a entrepreneurship and along with it came the understanding that I am just not that kind of a person which a business requires.

So many questions arose inside me – If I was not passionate about running a business, how did I even become part of one? What was that thing that held me there? Why didn’t I even think of all these before?

There was only one answer to all my questions – I was there, as a tiny part of the business, to be of some help to my husband. Every question I asked myself lead me to the same answer that I wanted to be of some assistance to my husband. I don’t know if it was the right thing but at that moment it felt right to assist him and I did it.

Now, when he put across the question of running the business without him, as an improbable thought, I realized that I won’t be able to do it alone. I certainly didn’t possess that passion to do it alone. And that led to the enlightened thought that it will be best that I reduce my involvement in this venture.

Yes, I was there in the business to help my husband. No doubt on that. Now, the thought process has changed. I wanted to help myself first before I help anyone else.

Those months were very trying times for me as I struggled a lot to overcome the stress of my husband’s hospitalization and then to find ways to help myself.

I had trouble sleeping at night. I stayed awake and watched television without knowing what I was watching, as the mind was not stable. Too many thoughts plagued me about the time I spent in the hospital sitting by my husband. I was sluggish. I lacked the josh to get out of bed everyday to cook, a task which I loved doing. I was also going through menopause which confused me a lot.

When one of my friend suggested to me to join a yoga class, I started looking for one. And I had already tried yoga classes 3 years back; one thing I realized –  I was never disciplined enough to practice at home when there was no class. So, I started looking at classes which can inculcate that discipline in me. Then  I found the perfect one.

And I joined a Yoga teacher training program. I just needed the prod that to become a teacher I need to practice daily so that I can inculcate the same to my students. That was the missing block since long. Also I found an amazing teacher who introduced me to meditation, helped me to overcome my sleeping problems and suddenly I was back on track. I felt I deviated from my life’s purpose line for sometime and felt comfortable to come back.

There is this subject on yogasutra as part of my course and it talks about svadhyaya as the study of self – at various points of our life, to assess our life and what we are doing with it, to reflect on our decisions, to make sure that we are on the path of what we want to do in our life or ensure that we are doing what makes us happy.

I understood that all along, even before I joined the yoga class, I had been doing svadhyaya without knowing about such a concept. Learning about this concept and other life changing ideas has put me in a path of self-love and not being guilty about it. It is only when I am healthy physically and mentally, can I help my family and others too.


Thank you for being with me all through this month of ramblings 😀

The improbable thought

Have you at any point in your life wondered about death?

I don’t think I’ve ever given a thought to it – whether it has to do with me or anyone else. What I think is, it will happen in its own time and I don’t like to dwell on it thinking when it will happen. I remember visiting my thatha in the hospital around 10.30pm, about 24 years back and I spoke to him and went home. Never in my mind did it occur that thatha was dying. His presence was all that I felt. His voice was all that reverberated in my head. Next day early morning he had gone. Even though I cried for I won’t be able to see him with my eyes, I never worried about not being able to feel his presence or hear his voice. I just close my eyes and think of my thatha and all the images and voice come to me and I feel very loved by my thatha. It is the same for my appa. I always feel that he is there within me, in my memories.

This being the case, I was no different even during those hospital times of last year. Even though my husband sort of brushed against it, I never ever took it seriously and never thought it will happen; the faith I had in my thoughts about taking him home healthy was more powerful than anything else.

I always believe that what I give importance will manifest itself. When I didn’t even think about that extreme possibility, maybe it didn’t happen.

All along, I was thinking that I am one smartypants to have evaded that thought and hence the whole process.

While I was thinking that my husband is sleeping because of the high dosage of medicines, his mind was having a ball with his thoughts. He was thinking in extremes even to the point of calling the LIC guy. His mind was doing a point by point presentation of what all will happen and how will people respond or react. One of that was “What will I do?” in such a scenario of extreme probability.

I sat there stunned at his improbable thought, which he shared with me much later, when he was recuperating!


Will finish this post tomorrow, as I wanted to save a few things for the last post of this Feb 2019 ramblings.

And I suddenly realized that I am 710 posts old here at WordPress…woah…didn’t see that happening!

A story and a lesson

One of my teachers told me this story and here I am sharing it with you all!

Once when Buddha went from house to house, asking for alms, as is the norm with monks, his disciple also tagged along with him.

At one of the houses they went to, there was a woman. Buddha asked her for alms. She didn’t know who Buddha was and started to scold him on why he being so physically fit should ask for alms! She kept going on and on with her torrential spray of words on how he could make a living instead of asking for alms. The disciple was very agitated initially but with no end to her whipping with words, he also got very angry.

But he saw that Buddha was simply standing there and smiling.

When the disciple thought that there would be no respite from those words, she stopped suddenly. Maybe she was tired. Maybe she was irked by the smiling Buddha.

She finally said “Even though I don’t agree to giving alms, I am giving you alms this time since you are already here”. Saying which she went in swiftly and got some food for them.

When she tried to give the food to Buddha, he politely refused and walked away.

The disciple was fuming all the way back. He wanted to give it back to that lady but owing to his high regard for his master, he stayed quiet. He kept on talking about what the lady said and asked Buddha about how he could keep quiet. “Master, you should have given it to her…she had no right to talk to you like that”.

Buddha smiled at him and said, “Do I have the food she offered?”

“No”, said he.

“I left it with her. Just the same way I left her words with her. You seem to be carrying those words, still”.

The disciple stood stunned.

The lesson:

It is very easy to stay unhurt when people throw volleys of hurting words at us. This story enables us to understand that it speaks volumes about the personality of that other person and has got nothing to do with us. It’s a difficult thing to just let go of the whole situation, remain calm and even smiling, to not to retaliate and mainly not to think about it later or even rant about it.

Sigh! I don’t know how much of this is possible for me to do or follow but here is something that I can try to do. For it’s in my genetic coding to go into a shell when people use hurt filled words at me and maybe I will never open up to those people any further.

With this kind of practice, I can let those hurting words to not affect me deeply and always stay cool with them.

Or maybe I can stay away from them too ignoring such a presence in my life!

Oleander blooms!

The buds!

The Oleander yet again
A different shade I find
The nature so kind
Filled with beauty lined
That calms the mind!

Oh! The day’s grind
Can make us resigned
And blind
To feel the wind
Or see what’s behind!

Its the time to shake the mankind
And their thoughts confined
To see beyond the closed mind
To dwell in the beauty around
And to cherish this time living!

The beautiful blooms!

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Written for my buds and bloom series in Instagram!

Proving them right and wrong

I stopped when I read this. How did they write such accurate predictions!! Yes…me a Virgo and if there is anything that I hold above my heart is to prove to people that they are wrong in doubting me – for whatever varied reasons it can be like capabilities or skill-set or reactions to situations or even my love towards them!

This is actually a bait, which I understood recently. The moment people doubt me on any factor I started fretting. The said words and unsaid meanings used to haunt me. And till I master whatever I had been doubted for, I wouldn’t rest.

Through all this, I stressed myself. I hurt inside. While I was sweating profusely over mastering something, the baiters were not even in the vicinity of my life.

The past year has been particularly enlightening on many aspects and the thoughts inside me have gone through the tumbling inside a washing machine kind of process which has led to the realization that those people who showed me that bait, were least interested in whether I did anything about it or not.

Now I wonder why I should even learn or master this damn thing, just because someone questioned me or my capabilities!

In effect, I’ve come to terms with myself. Even when it has to go against the Earth sign’s predictions, I am willing to do it; this is a change in the right direction for me. I learn things which I want to learn not because someone is doubting my smartness or intelligence. My efficiency in dealing with life is not for anyone to assess and grade but it’s totally mine to enjoy and live in peace.

Living in peace – yes, that is what I have claimed back into my life! The strength to stand up for myself and to make myself a priority is such a blessing in disguise for it is easy for me to accept my limitations and others too.

Those questions like – “how can they do this?” “how can they be ignorant?” “how can’t they not understand such simple stuff?” – do not compound me now. It does come to my mind; can’t say no to that. I have learnt the art of looking at those thoughts and let them be or even swipe them off my mind screen. In effect, I have learnt to let them be however they want to be. It is their life and I am no one to question. And I hold my fort strong on “its my life”!

There is a secret to it, if you want to know. Tell them sweetly, politely yet firmly on when you want to say a no. It helps. Put in a smile. Make them know that this is something you want to stay away from. But that doesn’t lessen the love and respect you have for the other person.

Such is life. You learn and move on…earth-sign predictions can take a hike! 😉

Bus friend aka Book pal!

Today I got into a crowded bus. It was so crowded that I had to travel for 5 mins standing on the foot-board. Maybe I would have loved the thrill of such a travel during my teenage years but today I just wanted to get in and sit somewhere too! My God! There is no place to stand and all I yearned was a seat to sit! “You have high hopes Uma” I told myself 😀

I partially breathed in a sigh of relief when I got to climb the stairs and get into the bus. But people were already strangled for space!

Week days are always like this – the office goers crowd, school children and their huge backpacks – I felt bad for all those who carry such heavy bags day in and day out. Even the elders are carrying their heavy laptops from home to office everyday!

And then the miracle happened. The bus conductor just got up from his seat and offered his seat to me! Oh wow! My prayers were answered! I thanked him profusely – this can’t get better…I was in heaven, plonked nicely on the conductor’s seat, even though it was only temporary.

As the wheels of memory go deep back, I sat on that seat and started thinking about my days of travelling in the always crowded 12B bus, three decades back. Sigh! And it was a long bus travel for me; books were the only friend in the bus, the introverted girl I was then!

Once I was reading some book in the bus and I heard someone ask what book it was! I turned suddenly to see a smiling conductor, waiting for an answer. He started talking about books and I started talking about books and we became book pals! He was a Masters degree holder in Chemistry and since he didn’t get any other job, he had taken up this bus conductor job. And I was so happy to talk to him about books that I read.

Whenever I got into any 12B, I used to look for that conductor. If he was there, I would always get a seat to sit (duh…the conductor’s) and also we exchanged ideas on what books are good or interesting!

In all, the bus journeys became enjoyable!

Today, the temporary conductor seat made me think of my book pal and I wished him well!