Faith stories from the heart – 1

Faith comes to us in various ways but there is always a beautiful soul in the story of faith.

Do you know the Skanda Shashti Kavacham? Its a song or a sloka comprised of 244 lines, written by Devaraya Swamigal in praise of Lord Muruga, where he asks the Lord to protect him and grace him. Whenever Skanda Shashti Kavacham is mentioned, it is Sulamangalam Sisters who come to my mind. Their rendition of this slokam (the tune, music and the pauses inclusive) is what I learnt from and it’s what I will remember forever. Kavacham means armor and the words in the sloka are the perfect armor to us.

I learnt this Skanda Shashti Kavacham when I was about 8 or 9 years old. My appa’s cousin sister, Viji athai was the beautiful soul which brought this Skanda Shashti Kavacham to my life. She taught me and my sister in the same tune as what the Sulamangalam sisters have sung. When I think of Viji athai, all that comes to my mind is her beautiful eyes full of life, her long hair plaited and the simple down to earth attitude of hers. She is one of the persons I adore with all my heart.

Is there a reason for learning this slokam? Maybe there was which I understood much later in life.

As I hit puberty, along came the cramps which was (and is) very painful. Generally in a Tambram household, the rules were very strict and menstruating women were not allowed to go inside the house and touch anyone. They were not allowed to pray, cook or do anything inside the house.

But my paati was an angel. Even though we were not allowed to go inside the house or touch anyone,  I was so happy when my patti said that I can recite the Skanda Shashti Kavacham. To allow me to pray during the cycle days was indeed a great thing which my paati did. My thatha encouraged my paati to give me hot food, which again was not the norm. My paati was more broad minded than others in many ways. Even though she couldn’t overcome her self-laid rules on touching us during those menstrual days, she did give us a lot of levy on other things. We, I and my sister, were attended to with much respect and taken care of nicely.

Reciting the Skanda Shashti Kavacham was a boon for me, as I saw myself being relieved of my pain. Whether it was my belief in the sloka or in Lord Muruga or the mere fact that I got used to the pain and in due course overcame it – whatever, I loved the recital of that slokam. It pacified my mind and may be numbed me to the pain.

Even today, as an adult, I automatically start reciting the Skanda Shashti Kavacham the moment I feel there is a need to heal the body. Its a kind of faith in those 244 lines, which the brain accepts as medicine to heal. Its the faith of a small girl who healed herself to her greatest astonishment. And its a faith with which I live.

Advertisements

Remembering Appa…esp today!

With so many ads and reminders in the TV and social media, one just cannot skip the fact that today is the special day for fathers. When one day is never enough for celebrating the father-daughter relationship, this day can be the affirmation day of such a beautiful love.

I’ve written so much about my Appa before, here in this space.

There are many things I adored in my father and I greatly respected him for that. One such thing is the simple fact of giving us the space to find our foothold.

This man, my Appa, needs to be applauded for the simplest fact that he just let me make my decisions on what to study, where to study, where to take up a job and he quietly supported me in my endeavor to make a difference in the world.

Out of all the support he gave me, I consider this incident to be the best in his life as a father, for it meant a great deal to me, then and now.

I was working with a company’s research department, after my college. Even though my dream then was to work with Microsoft, this was the most coveted job among my classmates. And I was the lucky one to get through the rigorous training, which made me the happiest one ever. Appa was elated to know about the job and he was so proud of me, which meant the world to me.

Over a time frame of two to three years, I felt a natural shift inside me to search for something else as I felt that that the job I was doing, was not my calling. I started feeling a natural boredom in the place of passionate research. I just wanted this whole thing to sort out by itself. It just took me some more time to realize that whatever change that needs to happen in my life, will happen only because of my decision to change.

And one fine day, as I was sitting and pondering in my chair, I just wrote a resignation letter and submitted and quit the job. Phew…I felt relief. I didn’t know my next course of action. But I was open for new things to happen as I was free of those things which held me back.

I came home by afternoon. Appa, thatha and patti were having lunch. Appa asked me “Ennachu?” (What happened?) I told him that I just quit my job as I didn’t feel like continuing in that job and that I wanted to do something else. It sounded strange to my ears as I was prepared to let go of that engineering studies and its related job profile, while I was the one to go for it after school.

He just smiled and said “Just sit and eat” – just pure acceptance of me, my decision and whatever I wanted to do later. My God! What a relief it was for me for such blinded acceptance from my Appa. It just made me to work harder and to get back in a good job about which my Appa will be proud again. Even though I did things for myself, I secretly aimed at making my Appa proud.

Today, I sit back and reflect all these, as my daughter has quit her job and come home to take a break and there is this smile of acceptance and support from her father and I feel grateful for such fathers in this world.

For without such understanding fathers, we daughters are never complete.

WW – The wonder called sky!

As you are already aware now, I love these sky watching phases during my day. It might be a brief moment in the morning, when I stare through my balcony to see if the sun has risen before me. Or it could be a moment during the day when I casually look up to see if there are black clouds looming around. It could be even be a moment like below, when I caught the glowing western colors on the move, while going for a meeting. I somehow love this click of the sunset, as the colors blend so beautifully to create such lovely shades and the sun adds its lovely evening glow. Sigh.

The following one is a fun picture. The constant looking up at the sky for patterns may yield such results, on a few occasions. While I saw a horse, dog and a bear – one behind the other, there were other friends of mine who lent their imaginary horses to this picture. And I love such cloud pattern based childlike conversations, where we keep looking for different animals or even people.

My dear friends who spent time cloud-watching with me virtually, gave me these responses and I enjoyed and laughed through the whole time.

  • looks more like a seahorse, an alligator and a rhinoceros to me 😂 and they’re dancing. Conga line 😊
  • they could be jet skiing too. 😂looks like they’re standing on one, the seahorse on the handlebar
  • Could be three on a magic carpet. 🤔 alakazam.
  • Spot the opera singer hitting a high note.
  •  ……….on a magic carpet!
  • Crocodile hugging its hatchling and a baby elephant is looking at both of them.
  • I can see a bird too.

Have a great day and look out for cloud patterns 😀

When the sky made its statement…

There is a routine to my days and generally it begins from the moment I open my eyes and look at the eastern sky from my caged balcony. I try to squeeze out my phone through the gaps and click the wondrous sky to my satisfaction. With the birds chirping, crows cawing, a gentle morning breeze caresses me. I soak in the wonder called sunrise and let the energy flow into me. My day begins and it’ll be an awesome one for sure, says my heart.

This morning was no different. But I stood in the balcony for a long time, gaping at the wonder high above. Here are the pictures, when the sky makes its statement and makes the people to look above and go wow at the nature that is bigger than anything else.

Have a wonderful day!

Happy birthday, my sunshine girl <3

Her smiling face is her passport
To all the good things that comes her way!
Her perseverance is her guiding light
To those amazing things that make up her life!

Her vivacity
Friendliness
Intelligence
The josh to live life on her own terms
Standing up for what she thinks is right
Her fiercely independent nature
Gives her the glow of joy of living!

She enthralls her group of friends
With her laughter
Lame jokes
And a great zeal for doing things!

Her clarity of thought
On things to do
On her studies
And way beyond too
Makes me so damn proud of her!

And this is the best time to thank God
For bringing her into my life
Through me
As she is the sunshine
Which I need everyday, to be!  

Happy birthday, my sunshine girl ❤

This and that from a mother!

I remember the day she started loving paneer…
Its still so fresh in memory, the day she started having milk like other kids, overcoming her allergy to milk…
The day she stopped telling “buuuu” for any color I ask and started telling the colors so clearly without the hint of baby language…yes, I remember…
The day she stopped referring to herself with her self-made name “athroo” and started referring to herself as I / me / myself – very fresh in memory…
The day all the baby talk blabbering stopped…very much remember them…

Now, I wonder when her fav color changed from blue to pink or the other colors which she didn’t prefer before!
I
I wonder when she started preferring geometric designs on her dress!
When did she grow up so much to give psychological lessons to me!!
Or when did she become my mother to scold me for getting a headache..he he!
When did she start disliking her fav potatoes and started liking the fruit salad!

Am just sitting here and knowing about the changes suddenly, without any warning and am like, when did this happen!? I just sit and wonder about them, as they keep going through the changes.

As a birthday keeps approaching, the mommy is going through a lot of thought process…

Those real life incidents as Memes :D

There are so many memes that do the rounds based on the current trending topic. But memes made for the mom and her ways with her children are applicable forever.

Especially listed below are a few which my daughters have identified with me…he he…guilty of some…but at that moment it was required 😀

This one is the best. I always used to wake them up like 30 mins early. The problem is I don’t like to be late for anything and I insisted that my children learn that quality in life. But now if you ask me, I should have let them be as they are and that they will learn things when they are ready for it. Sorry girls for stealing those precious sleep moments!

 

ha ha…this is one is epic 😀
I used to roll my eyes like that for accidental use of curse words and my elder one took it up so seriously that she would roll her eyes when the younger one used it with her.  And I think she still does that with her sister..he he…:D 😀  How I imparted those rolling eyes to my girl?! ha ha…this is true life incident!

Oh yes…many times I think…even before they start with something, I’ll assume its going to be some other thing and then say no without hearing properly. Then later, while we were lying down in bed, she’ll explain the same thing to me and I’ll be feeling absurdly foolish for having said no.

This my daughter sent me, so I guess she has done this many times 😉
But that smile is the sweetest, I tell you 🙂

Ohhh…this happened then and is happening now…ha ha…its a competitive world, I say 😀 😀

I was totally taken aback to be used like this 😉 But I guess its quite natural..ha ha 😀

Am guilty of doing this…umpteen number of times! Especially, when I had got them phones for the first time, the top most instruction is to pick up my call in the first bell itself. And if it doesn’t happen, the missed calls will increase. Now, I call and if they don’t answer, I try to instruct myself that there is a valid reason for not answering and that I should wait for a return call. It takes time, even with mothers…sigh 😛

This one happens all through the holidays! Shifting from one room to another in search of a warmer bed…sigh…those days !

So, dear mommies, do you relate to any of these, in your life? 😀

Come on…spill it!