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!

Movement

I have always felt the need to move as an important coping mechanism.

When I feel exhausted, a small rest and simple movements works wonders. When I have a headache, I drink some tea and keep moving from one simple task to another.

Moving my arms to fold clothes has always been therapeutic for me!

And when my thoughts are moving at the speed of light, I move my pen from point A to point B and draw. I move the paint brush from one end of paper to another, to bring in colors on a white paper.

And sometimes, watching the natural movement of my breath helps me to stay calm.

In all these movements, there is one underlying quality which made a difference. And that is awareness.

Being aware of the movement is a beautiful way to focus on my breath, body and what is happening with it!

Hope

We peep
Look beyond
Keep staring
Look up to the sky
Seek the sunshine
As we hope…

For a better life
A new bud
Leaf
Better sunlight
Vitamin D
Good health
Strong body
Anything
That is the need of the day!

Hope is the wave
That will carry us
Into the realms
Of the unknown
Overcoming the hurdles
To see the silver lining
Of our life!

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!

Explore

Explore…

Walkthrough unknown terrains
Or drive through them
To explore
The people, their produce
How they live and what they eat!

Exploration can be done
At mind level
When we question
Reason
Inquire on subjects…
A beautiful learning process!

I went on Facebook
On a mission to explore
New friendships…
Met a lot of amazing people!
Online friendships
Turned into real ones…
Resulting in a happy me!

So, it is a good thing to explore
New paths of life
While traveling
Discussing
Learning
And when making new friendships!

Thatha’s garlic love

Did you notice today’s date? Its 20th May, yeah! But if you write it like May 20, 2020, it looks and sounds so magical. I have this thing for looking for numbers that repeat or those numbers that make a rhythmic sound when pronounced. Maybe it is a genetic trait from appa. He always looks at numbers and finds rhythms in them. That was something he did as a natural and no wonder, the Telephones department where he worked, found him to be irreplaceable.

The month of May always reminds me of my thatha (paternal). I just don’t remember my thatha’s birthday but the day he left this world is something that I cannot forget. This May 13th was his 25th death anniversary. He was always there with me from the day I was born and I never wondered about his birthdate. But one fine day, he was no more and that date is stuck with me forever.

Thatha’s presence was always there at home. Starting from deciding on the menu for lunch to dinner, planning to go out, temple trip, tv program schedules, vegetable shopping – anything and everything had thatha in it in some form. He will have a request for everyone, a word for everything that went on in the house.

He was an expert on naming people, including my appa also!

If there is one thing which he loved the most it was garlic and he had done well by passing on those garlic love to all his lineage. My amma stood at the opposite pole of thatha when it came to garlic. She wouldn’t even touch it with her hands. But she cooked all the garlic dishes so well, especially the poondu kuzhambu is something out of the world.

This is precisely the reason why thatha used to have a say in the menu of the day; he decides the days when garlic can be cooked. Since he used to fast on Mondays and Amavasya, he made sure that garlic is not cooked even for us – the children of the house. He just didn’t want to miss eating garlic!

Sometimes, we use to pester amma to make poondu kuzhambu (garlic kuzhambu) and if it happens to collide with thatha’s fasting days, she will hesitate.  But we will pester even more and she will eventually agree to cook the delicious kuzhambu.

When the smell of frying garlic wafted through the rooms to that sharp nose of thatha, his loud voice will suddenly boom through the house make an announcement “today’s fasting cancelled”! Ha ha…everyone at home laughed out loud about how garlic ruled his heart and other things like fasting took a backseat.

Dear thatha, if you are alive today, you would have cherished the poondu kuzhambu which I cook! Always in love with you and with the enormous simplicity of your love for me!

Pal Kozhakattai

Whenever amma made kalandha sevai (rice vermicelli mixed with coconut or lemon), it was an arduous task. She used to make the processed rice flour, then make a dough with hot water. And then cook them again in boiling water and transfer it to the sevai nazhi (sevai making machine) which was hand-pressed. The arduous task eases down and joy overrides when the strands of sevai fall seamlessly from the sevai nazhi. The long strands of sevai were thoroughly enjoyed when we eat them. A slightly similar comparison will be the noodles that the kids slurp in one go.

The best part is always for the last. After making the sevai, there will be leftover rice dough which will be then rolled into small round balls and cooked gently. Jaggery will be added and crushed cardamom will be sprinkled. Coconut milk will be poured and mixed. And that is the definition of home-made heaven, which is called the pal kozhakattai. The simple and delicious dessert to be eaten after the sumptuous meal of coconut and lemon sevai.

Making pal kozhakattai is like a nostalgic journey into the kitchen of my patti and amma, sitting there next to them in my pavadai sattai (Long skirt and blouse), helping in the pressing of the sevai nazhi, waiting impatiently for the sevai process to be done so that patti will start making pal kozhakattai.

A dish as simple as this reminds me of my patti’s soft hands and the way she will smile at me for making my favourite dish.

A dish that is reminiscent of my petite patti and the way she does magic in the kitchen!

The taste of Pal kozhakattai in my mouth just takes me back to the times when I am still a little girl lying on the lap of my paati – the sweetest part of my childhood!

And here it is paati, this is for you, made by me in my kitchen!

Purple blooms!

A happy soul sees a single bloom

A bunch of happiness can wipe away the gloom

Look at the beautiful purple

See your life sparkle

The cheer in your circle will zoom!

Wonderful Wednesday!

This WW has always been my perfect muse! So, let the pictures do the talking today 😀

I have chosen the color pink for today to brighten me up!

20190723_091012
This picture was clicked outside the bus terminus!

20190721_105245
This was outside a restaurant while I waited to be seated! The tiniest pink flower so far!

img-20190728-wa0005
My love for mandala coloring in pink!

20190804_121342
The gentle spokes of the vrikshi poo!

20190702_075317
The favorite pink in bloom!

img-20190421-wa0008
The sky in pink!

Observing the little things…

Its been 15 days of continuous blogging and I feel so thrilled for two reasons – one is that my blog is happy with this revival and second is that I am able to blabber in writing all the thought process that seem to float by my mind. The blog break had me little worried if I will be able to put my thoughts into words again. Luckily, so far so good.

Also am observing the fact that I am not overly stressed as before when I commit myself to do anything even as simple as writing a post everyday. I have overcome the planning I used to do for writing posts – making notes on what all I have to write, what topics to cover – things like that. I have learnt to take it easy and not to worry about what to write. Its the quiet confidence that I will surely know in my heart about what to write, as I sip my coffee in the balcony.

Today was no different. I was sipping my morning coffee, observing the movement of sun much further down my block than 2 days back and also catching up with my current read – Forest of enchantments! The morning sun shone on me like a blessing and it surely gave me feel good sign from above!

Precisely at that time, there came a butterfly, a tiny one at that, with pretty white dots on black wings, fluttered around my book, my hands and flew away as quickly as it came.

My phone was charging and hence I couldn’t take a video of it. But thinking about it now, I wouldn’t have moved an inch to obstruct the flight of that butterfly. Even though it was for a fleeting moment, it increased my josh for the day ahead.

Sometimes, we just have to open our eyes and feel these small things. Then the heart is happy and mind calm, which prepares us to face bigger things.