The nesting munias

The only decent click of the Munia!

The Munia birds came back this year too! This is the second time they are building a nest in our balcony, just behind the AC outdoor unit.
I had recently put up this net as the pigeons were dirtying the balcony every day.
With the net in place, I never thought of any bird to come inside and build a nest.
But these munias are just the right size to squeeze themselves through the holes in the net. It was such a joy to know that they were back to nesting at our balcony. Even before they started building the nest, the two munias would come and sit on the pipe of the AC unit. They used to sit for some time, then venture out and then come back again.
The building of the nest started at end of July. Very smartly they got in the grass through the net to build the nest.
Then the nest was ready and then there was minimalistic movement. That’s the time of laying eggs and hatching them. I waited to hear the baby birds.
One fine morning, I heard them and I thought myself to be a blessed soul to listen to that!
Then the activity around the nest increased gradually. Bringing in the food and supporting the growing little ones with more space by bringing in more grass and making the nest bigger; there was constant movement!
I always stand by my kitchen balcony to gaze at the munia birds and their little ones as they learn to fly. The moment I move to get my phone, all of them will fly away. So I just let it be! I enjoyed watching them.
Yesterday, I was fortunate enough to shoot this video of the birds.

Now is a beautiful time in my life. I am witness to a life being created and I feel so blessed!

Serendipity

The Universe is a reflection of my thoughts!

YouTube is my serendipitous partner, for the past few months!
When I started my meditation journey, I first tried to sit quietly by myself, as I was initiated into the Heartfulness meditation by my teacher. There were days when I was there, present with my heart, and then there were days when the whole thing was a fiasco. I just wanted some guidance.
That was the time I looked into YouTube. Every morning I used to open this video app and used to type “meditation” in the search box. After a week, this app just knew what I liked and preferred!
I used to choose meditation videos from different people, exploring their style of meditation, or choose some video based on the topic! I tried chanting as a meditative tool, did visualization techniques, learned how to be mindful of my breath, and many other videos.
But what I loved about this whole process was the options that opened up on YouTube for me. They were a reflection of my thoughts and requirements for the day. The first video which showed on my wall was a serendipitous calling to my state of mind and body!
One day, I woke up with a bad throat and it was irritating and as I brushed my teeth, I wondered how will I be able to teach that day! As always, I sat for meditation, opened YouTube and the first video that came was the recipe for a concoction to soften the throat irritation. My God! This was like the Universe was answering me; serendipity is thy name huh! I made and drank the concoction and felt a lot better!
Another day, I was led to this amazing video on energy healing, which helped me so much! The same day, I got a message about someone doing a live energy healing session and I joined in. It was so profound. Serendipity, again!
When I was struggling to deal with a particular emotion inside me, I came across a video link which was on forgiveness. That was an amazing moment in my life when I learned the actual meaning of forgiveness, which helped me to resolve that emotion in me! Again, it was serendipity!
I felt guided to exactly what I needed at particular moments of my life. The serendipity of things – zoom meeting invites, meeting new people, sudden travels, were all happening so smoothly in sync with my thoughts! It felt like that I just had to think of something and after some time, I receive an answer through a person, or a text, or a video that amazes me every time! It happens in a very profound way; I just have to keep my mind and heart open and go along with the flow of life!

Lockdown learning – My kitchen rules

Today I posed a question for my pranayama class students – “What is that part of you that you dislike or not comfortable with?” Each one identified their own and we worked on forgiving our uncomfortable parts and sending love to those parts inside us! I truly believe that we are a work in progress and we also need to work at ourselves regularly, to maintain some sort of calmness inside us.

Coming to that question…
When I posed that question to myself, a few months back, I was surprised at what came out as a dominant character! You will be surprised too, as you read this!

As a little girl, all I was allowed to do in the kitchen was just observe. I observed everything – what ingredients went into which kuzhambu, how everything gets fried golden, how coarse or how fine you grind the sambar masala, how to make different types of chutney using vegetable peels, how to grind the idly maavu, how to pickle, how not to spoil a pickle and many more…phew! This list seems endless…

Amma is an amazing cook, a perfectionist, and such a cleanliness freak! I am not surprised that I imbibed all those from amma – maybe not genetically but by observing her too keenly 😀

After I got married, I started observing my mother-in-law! Another amazing personality, with the keenness of a child to learn and try new things, a cook par excellence, great with her smile and hospitality and most of all, she loved to feed people!

All these observations – from my amma and mother-in-law – helped me when I started to cook in my own kitchen after my marriage. These two amazing mothers in my life had subconsciously instilled another quality in me, which I didn’t realize at first.

I divided the vessels I had into two sets. Set one was used for cooking, the plates were used for closing the vessels, the spoons and ladles were used only for cooking and serving.
Set two was for eating. Plates, spoons, forks are separately kept for eating.

And the strict rule was there will be no interaction or mix-up between these two sets of vessels! Really! Yeah…That was me!

Then the egg came into the kitchen. I grew up in a household where eggs were banned from entry into our home. But when I started cooking eggs, I bought separate pans, spatulas, plates…

All these were noticeable decisions which I did.

I also had this habit of using specific vessels for specific purposes. I kept my milk boiling vessels separate and nothing else was cooked in it, especially the ones with salt. I had separate ladles for milk, curd, sambar and never mixed them! The Kadai for frying papad, for making the vegetables were all marked and used according to my rule! My kitchen – my rules…haha 😀 I did manage with these rules, without realizing how strictly I enforced it on me and my house-help, for all these years.

Lockdown happened and things changed. Without the help of a house-help, who listened and abided by my rules, I asked my daughters to help me. They did all the help very willingly.
All along, my daughters were never really aware of those rules which I followed in the kitchen concerning the cookware. Or maybe they were aware but never thought seriously of them. I started noticing that they were using some vessels for cooking which was not earmarked for them, by me – he he…the superior me 😀

I went huff and puff over all the wrong usage of cookware! And I couldn’t hold it on for long periods. Without the help of my daughters, I was not able to manage the cleaning, cooking, and all the other work in the house. I was already stressed out with lack of house help and now the mixing up of the cookware…Oh God! I was so stressed out. I couldn’t even appreciate their help as I was constantly picking on them for using the wrong cookware.

Sigh! I didn’t like this obsession I had towards the cookware and how it should be used.

So, slowly and grudgingly I started to relax – let them use whatever cookware they wanted; it will be washed well after use. This simple shift inside me helped me to come out of my stressful feelings and I started enjoying and appreciating their help more!

Such precious lockdown learning of 2020!

From there, I have moved on with a better thought process – the cookware is transient; they can be thrown away or new ones can be bought. My daughters and the love with which they do things at home are more precious than these transient things.

Have you wondered at this question – “What is that part of you that you dislike or not comfortable with?” Please do share your replies!

The Mandala and the thought process

“The Mandala drawing is a representation of one’s own thoughts and its associated processes” – this I read somewhere and this idea kind of stayed with me.

A few months back, I took the first step in learning it properly from a beautiful soul, Elsa. And all through her classes, she taught me the precise way to draw concentric circles, mark angles and make space to draw the patterns in my own way. She made such an impression on me that precision was the key to doing mandalas. And her mandala drawings are great examples of the precision she talks about. Of course, there is always an interpretation to her mandala and she does it with ease and beauty.

My journey in the path of mandala drawing started after the classes. I watched and learnt many new patterns and techniques from others too. But I was still a novice in the way I used those patterns in my mandala.

And instead of stressing on how to draw mandalas which is an interpretation of something or a pictorial representation of a thought process, I just let myself to relax. I told myself that I will attend to any spark of thought that I receive from my mind and then take it forward.

I didn’t get to relax a lot. There were some sparks and some representations of them in my mandala drawings. The recent one was I wished to represent the Marigold flower in my mandala. I didn’t know what led to that spark; probably yellow is my new favorite and flowers are my new found love in nature!

The reasons apart, I gave in to the spark and started the work on my pictorial representation of marigold.

I drew petals and filled them with floral patterns and kept filling it up in my favorite yellow. In my excitement to draw more petals, I messed up one whole concentric circle. And instead of getting worked up on the mess I created. I filled it up with yellow and that filled me up with joy.

I forgot to draw the double line border in one circle. Another mess up. But I carried on and filled it up with floral pattern and yellow color.

In one petal on the outer most circle, I seriously messed up, filled it with whitener and then realized that yellow color didn’t stick on the whitener and this mess up was very evident. I still carried on and kept filling that yellow, wherever I could.

And then the borders of mandala faded and the marigold took over it all, which led to those free lines of yellow around the mandala. I felt absolute joy when I did those strokes of yellow with slashes of light brown and gold.

I felt complete with the mandala.

As always, I try to draw parallels.

I am like this mandala – I have messed up many a times with relationships. But that didn’t stop me from making new relationships, for I kept filling that space of relationship with love and more love.

Many decisions that I have taken have not been great ones.

Many times, my words were too much and there were times, when my silence was too much!

Many of my experiences stressed me a lot and were blocking me from moving forward.

There were times, when my expressions were not an absolute representation of what I felt because it was so intertwined with my emotional blocks!

And just like this mandala, I worked on it, taking one circle at a time. The past two months have been great that I worked on identifying my blocks and helped myself to clear them too. It is still going on and I am loving the “me times” where I work on this!

I used to be like these patterns – always following a strict adherence to rules and regulations. May be, it helps to relax the rules and go with the flow! I am learning to take it easy!

If you have read till here, I hope you see me in all the different shades that I express myself. The key point for me is that these drawings help me to see myself in those shades and be very accepting of myself and continue to love myself too!

To my love,

Every year
Every day
Every moment
I wish you the best always!
Happy birthday dear husband 🙂

UmaS Reflections

Now, isn’t that picture so apt, to the budding baker in me !!! 🙂 😉

An year older

Or shld I say, we’ll grow old together !!!

More wrinkled lines on face

Or are they the lines crossed together !!!

Hugging and Arguing

But the best of times together !!!

Varied opinions / decisions

But still a strong bond together !!!

The more the disagreements

Its the love that keeps us together !!!

So, whatever said and done,

You are the best for me !!!

Or should I say more aptly,

That you totally deserve me… 😉 😉

A VERY HAPPY BDAY TO YOU, MY LOVE !!!

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Celebrating the fall…


Its beautiful, for its fall!

The leaves turn pale
Yellow or a darker shade
And the skies turn grey
The imminent winter’s foreplay!

Its a color parade
Of landscapes

Filled with trees
Which boast of
The change in color
And season!

There seems to be joy
When the leaves turn pale
And ready to fall!
When the paths are filled
With the fallen leaves
It becomes the most liked picture
Of all!

We celebrate and enjoy
The fall season

In nature!
But we just fail
To celebrate people
When they fall
After trying!

When they change
Their colors deep inside!
When they show courage

In all the tough times!

This fall is part of nature
Part of growing up
For new leaves in next season
For new adventures
In life!

All we need
Is just a shift
In our attitude!

The sun rises again…

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There are moments between serene and brilliance
As the sun rises again…

There are moments between sunset and now
As the sun rises again…

There are moments between sleep and being awake
As the sun rises again…

There are moments of beauty and wonder
As the sun rises again…

There are moments between dusk and dawn
When the soul rests
As the body recoups
For a beautiful day ahead
And I await the moment
When the sun rises again!

 

Bus stories continues…

This is precisely the reason I love public transports – the many people and their varied conversations and the multitude of expressions makes the journey more interesting!

I got into the bus in the bus terminus. All the window seats were already taken. Sigh. Now I had to choose who will make interesting conversation among all these people in the window seat.

And I chose this young girl…should be around 20 years. I made eye contact with her and my smile was reciprocated in full josh. I liked that. I sat next to her.

As suddenly as a storm brews up, came this bus conductor who was in a hurry, for sure. And he looked stressed…God knows what was stressing him! As he started issuing tickets, all he got was 10 rupee notes in succession from the passengers. That put him off. He refused to give tickets if he didn’t get exact change. Everyone quietly put the ten rupee notes inside their bags and started their search for coins.

I saw the girl next to me with a twenty rupee note while I had exact change. This was my chance to start that conversation.

“Take my coins and buy both our tickets with your twenty rupee note” I offered. She was mighty pleased. We got our tickets and looked like we both are going to the same destination.

I started my question spree. I loved it. One answer leading to the next question. Starting from “Are you studying?” to “What is your native place?” and also smiling happily to know that her father is a farmer. I was also happy to know that she is doing a teacher’s training course for differently abled children. The younger generation is not only the blindfolded engineers and doctors but also selfless teachers to special children. I felt so proud to have met her.

Our stopping came and we got down.

I couldn’t resist giving her a hug 🤗

The mallipoo story

I was at the bus stop. There was an old lady selling flowers and the fragrance of mallipoo wafting towards me was so strong which I loved so much. Maybe it was magnetic too as I inched towards the fragrance to take in more.

I was so preoccupied with my nose inhaling the fragrance that I was bolted to reality by the screeching sound of a yellow Vespa scooter. A couple all dressed up for a function stopped before the flower shop and their little girl in pattu pavadai was dozing off with her head leaning on her father’s back. You know it used to happen to my daughters too, as kids; as soon as they sit on the bike and the gentle breeze hits their face combined with the warmth of the enclosing parents, it is a sure thing to doze off.

The man was wearing a helmet but still, I could see he was annoyed or upset. Maybe some disagreement with the missus?! Or anything…but he didn’t look happy.

The wifey got down from the scooter and bought mallipoo from the same lady towards whom I was inching slowly. Cut the mallipoo string into two. Took the smaller one and pinned it on the hair of the sleeping girl. That fragrance made the little girl open her eyes. She touched the mallipoo, felt its softness and made sure it was longer than her shoulder-length hair. She was satisfied with the inspection and closed her eyes again to lean on her father’s back.

The wifey pinned the balance mallipoo in her hair made a sweeping gesture with it. And suddenly the whole scenario changed. The husband took some sudden interest in the whole mallipoo thing. He smiled with affection at his wife and gave the money for the mallipoo.

Somewhere the annoyance was lost…maybe forgotten.

The mallipoo made peace and helped in the bonding.

Sometimes all we need is a smile and a word of love and maybe mallipoo 😉

I absolutely loved waiting for the bus because of which I could watch such a beautiful language of love spoken through the eyes of that couple, all wih the mallipoo mediator.

Heard some conversations…

Sitting in the bus I get to hear conversations between two people or over the phone. I heard them all in Tamil, but here is the gist in English!

———

Amma….how are you? Yes, appa spoke to me. Am fine. Blah blah blah.

Yes ma…I ate. Did you eat lunch?

———–

One lady is screaming on top of her voice and I realized it was over the phone. She was very upset about something that happened and she was being very vocal about it. As the minutes progressed her decibel came down.

She ended her call with a subdued caring voice “listen, eat lunch and then go”

——–

It reminded me of my conversations with my girls where my first question will be “Did you eat kannamma?” It makes me totally happy that my child has eaten and all other things can be faced by her.

I think the many people out there always show that they care through food, through enquiries about lunch or dinner and absolutely revolving around food.

“You ate?”

“Pls eat….I made your fav.”

“Be angry with me later but eat first.”

For its difficult to be angry or unhappy when the stomach is full. And then a tummy khush feeling is also the adrenaline to keep one happy.

And I love conversations that weave through our lives esp our food.