Quiet

The tree stands quiet and tall even when surrounded by cloud chatter!

I am in self-love mode. The situations and challenges of the past three years have enabled the self-love process. And I am so happy about it. Instead of being the “critical me” towards my actions and thoughts, I have become loving towards myself.
Getting into the practice of self-love was a huge task for me, initially. The moment I do some work, I switch to a self-criticism mode. I constantly look for faults and there is constant inner-chatter – “this is a wrong way of doing things” – “you need to do it at a faster pace” – “you used to do it better before” – “you are not doing with enough sincerity” – like this and many more!
For many years, I had succumbed to this chatter of self-criticism. The mind won’t rest and I was constantly stressed out, anxious about results – perfection was my goal, and this level of perfection was becoming unreachable!
When I consciously decided to accept myself for who I am and whatever I do, in whatever level of perfection, there was this deep sense of acceptance within me! But I took a lot of time to quieten the chatter in my mind.
My go-to methods to quieten the mind chatter and to strengthen my acceptance of myself were chanting and music. I joined a chanting class. Even though I am not continuing the class, the chanting continues – it is a part of my day where I work on quietening the chatter of the mind.
Listening to music reduced the mind chatter a lot. Choosing a playlist of songs that I enjoyed during my childhood days provided the much-needed quietude inside me!
Coloring, drawing mandalas also made me feel calm and relaxed and I always felt quieter, as I let the strokes cut through my mind chatter!

#hopewriterlife

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Music heals…

As is the norm with any TamBrahm family, especially those hailing from the banks of river Kaveri, and nearer to the musical town of Tiruvaiyaru, I started my music lessons around 5 years of age. I didn’t know if I had any interest in learning music nor did any elders at home wanted to know my interest levels. The music lessons were a must. I and my sister, accompanied by patti, went to Kalyani mami, the expert in conducting music classes and within walk able distance from home. As was the tradition, we went with a tray of fruits, vethalai, pakku, flowers and some token of guru dhakshina. And it all began on the auspicious day of Vijayadasami, when beginnings to new ventures or classes always took place.

Kalyani mami – a face I cannot forget. Her smiling face with the big kumkum bindi in the center, the kondai and malli poo and her neat way of tying the sari…sigh, she was incredibly beautiful. And her music made her all the more lovable. She was not rude to us, but firm in a lovable way. She gave into our uncontrollable laughter over the lyrics that sounded funny many a times. Even among all that laughter, she’ll find that one girl among the group of 10, who missed the sruthi or who missed the taalam. She was that amazing.

We bought the regular first book of music and of course, I and my sister shared one book. We thought that we can always sit together, as we shared the book. But from day one, we never opened the book in class. It always remained closed. Mami would teach us a new lesson, made us practice it many times, made all of us sing individually too and then would send us home. The only instruction was we had to sing it correctly without seeing the book in the next class. Both of us used to sit and practice together the new lesson, till it was etched in memory. In the next class, we used to recite the previous lesson from memory and then Mami would teach us a new lesson after making sure that we had all perfected the previous one. In the next class, she would make us sing from the beginning, all the lessons learnt so far and then only she would go to the new lesson. It was amazing how we learnt the whole book by memory and having so much of fun at the same time.

The swaras, jandai varisai, thattu varisai, mel sthaiyi varisai, geetham, swarajathi, varnam…I still remember them all from memory.

Recently, I happened to get hold of my music books from the loft and that joy was immense. I opened up the book and all the music lessons came to my memory. I just had to flip the pages and the music started ringing in my ears. I started singing even when my throat didn’t agree to that much of voice modulation.

I always try to hum some song while cooking; it was always a movie song. But after the music book came back into my life, I sing some song from the music book, learnt years ago. It may not be in accordance to the sruthi or the taalam – forgive me Kalyani mami! But there is a certain joy to that singing, which cannot be measured.

And today it was “rara venu gopala…” and I felt healed of all the stress ☺

Life’s great lessons, yet told simply…

I’ve a younger sister and brother.  We all grew up with the same kind of dos and don’ts and thankfully, my brother was treated on par with us, girls.  Appa and Amma used to be the same strict parents when they felt we were going beyond their financial boundaries.  But sharing the reality with us, made us aware of the harsh side of life very early in our lives.

We saw our parents slogging day in and day out for a better and comfortable lifestyle; those times were tough ones. Even though they were stressed up for a better financial life, there were small things that they enjoyed and music was one of them.  Whether its MS Subbulakshmi’s Suprabatham or Sulamangalam sisters’ Skanda Shasti Kavasam or the morning Vividh Bharati or the amazing voices of Rafi, Kishore, SPB, Jesudas – every kind of music was appreciated and enjoyed.

One night Vividh Bharati was broadcasting Ghazals by Rafi.  A soulful rendition by Rafi and it was the first time I listened to it.  Appa was sitting and having his usual Vethalai pakku ritual (betel leaves with supari was his favorite) . Listening to it, he suddenly had tears in his eyes.  Music does that to him.  And when I asked why Ghazals today, he told that it was the Death Anniversary of Rafi.  I still cherish this musical memory with Appa.

We three siblings still do – music is a part of our life giving us little places to find solace and peace within us.  Appa played the music he enjoyed and we just took the music forward into our lives with open hearts 🙂

The world may say different things about what we believe is right.  But we need to persist with our beliefs.  For this we need tremendous amount of inner strength to face the world, with our principles intact.  This is another big lesson from my parents.  They were silent yet strong.  They were resilient even when problems hit their shore in subsequent waves.  They learned to smile during tough times and expertly passed on that quality onto us.  And I am so sure that this is the biggest lesson that we three have learnt – its the game of survival with a smile.

And biggest of all was the freedom that they gave us – in doing what we liked in our career, in choosing our friends, to go out with friends – they trusted us implicitly.  And as a mother, I’m trying my level best to impart the same to my daughters and I hope I’ve done well.  This freedom is like a breath of fresh air, when I hear tales of girls not being allowed to do what their heart desired.

Appa resides in our hearts now…
But Amma is still strong in her mind and in the way she’s helping others with financial difficulties.  I see her day in and day out, doing something or other, never resting for a minute.  She reminds us about important things which we need to do asap, in her own gentle way.  She’s a pillar of strength and I’m thankful for her presence in my life.  She still teaches me on how to be busy even when we grow old and enjoy the simple joys of life, as it comes and also in adapting to the changing ways of her grandchildren.

We learn some lessons by reading about it…
We learn some when we are the players in the field…
And then some are learnt by observing our parents…

 

The Tune which fills my days…

Here’s one song from the Album “Chaants” by Pt Ravi Shankar and everytime I hear this song, it takes me to pure bliss. 🙂 🙂 So wonderful to soothe my nerves and bring me the emotional calm, I always seem to yearn.

So, listen to this and feel the calm that enters your soul.

So, the song is here for you all :

Prabhujee dayaa karo
Maname aana baso.
Tuma bina laage soonaa
Khaali ghatame prema bharo.
Tantra mantra poojaa nahi jaanu
Mai to kevala tumako hi maanu.
Sare jaga me dhundaa tumako
Aba to aakara baahan dharo

 

Here’s the translation, which I got from Youtube.

Prabhujee

Oh Master,show some compassion on me,

Please come and dwell in my heart.

Because without you, it is painfully lonely,

Fill this empty pot with the nectar of love.

I do not know any Tantra, Mantra or ritualistic

worship i know and believe only in you.

I have been searching for you all over all the world,

please come and hold my hand now.

 

 

Music anyone ???

MUSIC is the the Theme for Thursday Challenge !!! So, here is mine. 🙂

MUSIC anytime...

There are two ear jacks in the headphone set – one has a “L” meaning Left Ear and the other “R” meaning Right Ear….but there is no mention that both the Ears should belong to the same person. 😉

So, here’s my girls, sharing music…. 🙂 🙂

Oh..its only a car drive… ;) ;)

You all know that I am crazy about this song….Nenjukkul Peithidum Mamazhai….

So, I keep playing this song in the car… 🙂 🙂

The initial music of the song…. S listens quietly.
Nenjukkul Paeithidum MaamazhaiNeerukkul Mulkidum Thaamarai

Sarrendru Maaruthu Vaanilai

Pennae Un Mel Pizhai…

Nillaamal Veesidum Peralai

Nenjukkul Ninthidum Tharaghai

Ponvannam Sudiya Kaarighai

Pennae Nee Kaanchanai…

Hoo Shanthi Shanthi Hoo Shanthi

En Uyirai Uyirai Nee Yenthi

Yehn Sendraai Sendraai Ennai Thaandi

Eni Nee Than Enthan Anthaathi..

Nenjukkul Paeithidum Maamazhai
Neerukkul Mulkidum Thaamarai
Sarrendru Maaruthu Vaanizhai
Pennae Un Mel Pizhai…

You know who has acted in this movie ??? Whaat ??? (loudly) Sameera Reddy, huh ??? Hows she ??? Good huh ???Arrrreeee…look at that guy…how he is speeding…he would have hit someone…

Girls what do u want for dinner tonight ???

U know ??? I never like Surya…Vijai is OK…

Girls : Dad, keep quiet na…amma’s listening to this song…

S : What ???? U listening….ha ha ha ha ha ha….***My rolling eyes arent helping either*****

Music in-between the paras… S is divinely quiet, which gives me hope to listen to the next para properly.
Yetho Ondru, Ennai IrkkaMookkin Nooni, Marmam Serkka

Kalla Thanam Yethum Illa, Punnagaiyo Bogham villa

Nee Nindra Idam Endraal, Kilai Yeri Poghatho

Nee Sellum Vazhiyellam, Pani Katti Aaghatho

Ennodu Vaa, Veedu Varaikkum

En Veetai Paar, Ennai Pidikkum!

Ival Yaaro Yaaro Theriyaathae

Ival Pinnal Nenjai Poghathae

Iru Pooiyo Maeiyo Theriyaathae

Ival Pinnal Nenjai Poghathae… (Poghaathae…)

Nenjukkul Paeithidum Maamazhai
Neerukkul Mulkidum Thaamarai
Sarrendru Maaruthu Vaanizhai
Pennae Un Mel Pizhai… Hoho
Nillaamal Veesidum Peralai
Nenjukkul Ninthidum Tharaghai
Ponvannam Sudiya Kaarighai
Pennae Nee Kaanchanai…

So, whats news from ur amma and appa ???Hey, guess what I had for lunch ??? **Gives a big descript of his wonderful lunch, while I am seething with anger**

Why this non-stop talking, when I want to listen to the lyrics ????

He knows it very well, that I love the song for its lyrics.

And he keeps quiet when, plain music is going on…

Certainly knows how to bug me…

He is mad, I tell you….  😡 😡

and he thinks I am mad…. 😡 😡

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S : (Exactly at a four road junction) Tell me fast, should I turn left or right ???

Me : (Suddenly looks up from my mobile, to see where we are) Ahem…Right !!!

S : No, I think we shld take left !!!

Me : Right !!!

S : Left is right !!! 😉

Me : Oh, then why do u ask me, huh ???? 😡

S : Chumma, what are u doing, meddling with ur mobile ???

Girls : Oh, be quiet, you cartoon characters !!!

S and Me :   🙄  Cartoon Characters  🙄 🙄

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Edited to add :

BTW, let this madness, happiness, fun, joy, pictures, blogging, love — continue forever, while I celebrate posting my 250th post here. 🙂 🙂  Thank you ppl, for all the support. 🙂