Monthly Archives: January 2016

Unexpected visitor

The afternoon heat is stifling. All the fans are churning out hot air, in varying degrees of aggravation. The aircon is  lifeless. The leaves are still, glistening in the sun. The few pigeons that are sitting on the ledges of the building seem worn out by the heat and seem too tired to move. They sit patiently, their wait punctuated only by the occasional flapping of their wings.

I decide to open the balcony door fully, not sure if it will help in any way. I look at the sky. A perfect, blue sky with cotton-puff clouds looks back at me.

I stand on the balcony, staring at everything and nothing.

I look at my plants. They need more water. And as I look at my hibiscus plant, I see a bud that is just about to bloom. I can see just a hint of red peeping out of green. Maybe another two days. I smile. My smile widens as I see that we have a surprise visitor.

A beautiful dragonfly is visiting our hibiscus plant – elegantly poised on the thin branch, perfectly balanced, the gossamer-like wings glinting in the afternoon sun. He is oblivious to my presence, and is busy taking a breather.

The faintest breeze causes the dragonfly’s wings to flutter just a tiny bit.

I stand completely awed. Such detailing and such perfection in this small creature. He is obviously there for a reason, known only to himself.  Nothing seems to disturb his tranquility. He sits there for a long time.

I go inside to get a drink, he has still not moved an inch. Looks like he is in deep meditation.

I move closer and take a few pictures.  My chores beckon, and I go indoors, forgetting the hot sun and only remembering those glistening wings.

When I come back after sometime, my visitor is gone. Sharing some pictures that I took…

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Aaachooooo…..!

I am standing at the checkout line in the local supermarket. The line snakes both in front of me and behind me.  It is the weekend after all, and people are here to stock up.

I check my phone repeatedly for want of anything better to do. I keep refreshing my facebook page, my whatsapp and the news application.  The world is quiet, no ‘breaking news’. I resign myself to the long, boring wait.

I am soon distracted by a little baby in a pram. The baby is probably just a year and a half old.  She is so pretty – chubby cheeks and huge eyes that look like black grapes. She is gurgling, and chewing on a watermelon teething toy.

She smiles at her mom, hits the pram, and babbles on.

I am totally engrossed now, my body automatically moving along the line.

And as I watch, the little girl’s face suddenly contracts in preparation for a sneeze. And before she realizes it, the baby sneeze explodes out of her tiny frame.

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       Courtesy – http://www.gettyimages.in

The startled look on the baby’s face is priceless. She looks wonderingly as if saying, “Hey, what was that now?”

She continues her chewing, and I see it, and she senses it – a second sneeze is on its way. “Aaaachoooo”, she sneezes.

Now she laughs in wonder at what just happened. She claps her hands.

She is now prepared for the next one, but the sneeze quota seems to have dried up. The baby forgets and is soon rubbing her eyes.

I finally manage to reach the cashier. As I carry my bags and walk out I look back to see that the little girl has fallen asleep.

Sometimes there are more interesting things to observe than constantly refreshing one’s phone.

The Forgotten Song

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        Courtesy – http://www.playbuzz.com

A few days ago, I sat with a group of  friends playing a popular game called ‘Antakshari’, which is the singing equivalent of word building. One person sings a song, and the next person then has to start her song with the last alphabet or consonant from the first song, and so on.

We were having great fun. Many songs were sung, and the albums and movies remembered. When it was my turn, the song I wanted to sing suddenly vanished from my head. It hid at the tip of my tongue,  lurked in my throat,  taunted me from behind my closed eyes and teased me with images in my mind, but never once revealed itself. I managed to sing another song in the nick of time and the game moved on.

However, the song continued to bother me a lot. The more I racked my brains to remember, the more elusive it became. I could dredge up images, situations and memories around the song, but none of them clear enough to help me place it.  I finally gave up in frustration.

Days flew by. Last week, when I was in the supermarket, waiting in the checkout counter, the song slid back into my head, slyly and stealthily – that it took me a while to realize that the song had finally come back to me.

I smiled in happiness as I hummed the song. Sometimes, I wonder where our brain tucks away such information, only to throw it back to us at a later date, totally out of context.

I felt happy and light after the song came back to me, though I was not sure why it mattered so much that I remember it.

Has this ever happened to you? Would love to know.

Yay! My blog turns ONE today.

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               Courtesy – wikipedia.org

Dear friends,

It was exactly a year ago, on 25th Jan 2015 that I posted my first blog on ‘Simple Moments of Life’.

When I set out on my blogging journey that day, little did I realize that this blog would come to mean so much to me.

In keeping with the blog’s theme, I have attempted to capture simple, everyday moments around me, and bring them to life on my blog, for I believe that our lives are made up of such simple moments.

Writing these posts has given me immense joy and satisfaction. However, more than the writing, what gives me greater happiness is the realization that blogging is about much more than writing.

To me, blogging is about connecting with people from around the world, and about friendship. It is about reading and learning about different people and their cultures. Blogging is about fun, laughter and good moments. It is about so much more.

I have made some wonderful friends this last one year. Thank you all for enriching my life through your blogs and friendship.

Thank you for reading my blog and stopping by to leave your likes and comments. My writing derives meaning only when you visit my blog.  And for this, I cannot thank you enough.

I look forward to many more years of blogging and knowing all of you.

Thank you, once again.

Lots of love,
Nimi

The choice is ours

I recently watched a video on personal transformation, where the speaker spoke about about how one should try to work towards becoming ‘extraordinary’.

This really got me thinking. All of us are running different races. Each race is unique. All of us are travelling on different paths, meeting people along the way – some people who stay with us for a long time, and some others whom we know for brief periods of time.

If we were to zoom out and look at our lives, we would see billions of such paths, criss-crossing each other. It would be very difficult to distinguish one line from the other. All of them would look quite ordinary.

So then, we have a choice – to either lead an ‘extraordinary’ life, in the truest sense of the word, by giving ourselves fully to every moment on this journey called life or to lead an ‘extra’ ordinary life, where we carry a lot of extras like our ego, regrets, anger, greed, jealousy and ill-will. In this case our life would be burdened by all these extras and will truly remain ordinary.

However, if we drop these extra burdens that we carry with us, we can truly lead an extraordinary life.

Extraordinary or ‘extra’ ordinary – the choice is ours!

Very, Berry Good

I am doing my weekly vegetable shopping; my eyes fall on lovely, green gooseberries.

We Indians pickle gooseberries, grind them into chutneys or eat them raw, with a little salt.

My mouth waters when I see these beautiful berries. I quickly unroll a plastic bag from the dispenser and fill it with gooseberries.

As I stand in the checkout line, I smile as I remember how we loved these small berries as children.

Just outside our school, was a street hawker, who sold all kinds of berries. She was usually seated on a stool in front of a small table, where beautiful triangular mounds of berries called out to young children.

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              The Indian Jujube
   Courtesy – http://www.maalaimalar.com

The measuring of these berries was done using small metal containers called ‘padis’ – a measuring system that goes back hundreds of years, and which was still prevalent when I was growing up. There were measuring containers of different sizes, each priced accordingly.

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     The padis used for measurement
       Courtesy – http://www.thehindu.com

The lady usually had an assortment of berries, all in vibrant colours – Naga Pazham (Jamun), Vicki Pazham (a local wild berry), Elantha Pazham (Indian Jujube) and Gooseberries.

We usually bought an assortment for 25p. With our school bags slung on our back, we would receive the berries in our palms, and bite into them lazily, as we took the bus home.

The Naga Pazham usually coated our tongues purple, and we would sometimes pretend that we had worn lipstick, by applying the juice on our lips.

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                  The Naga Pazham
          Courtesy – http://www.agrifarming.in

The wizened, old lady who sold these berries, was there as long as I can remember. She must have sold thousands of berries to school children over the years.

She did not speak much, but just cackled out the price, when asked. She had a jute bag, under which our coins would disappear. During winter she wore a scarf and a shawl, but she was always there, come rain or shine.

I come back to the present and feel a tingle of anticipation when I think about eating the gooseberries I have bought.

These things do happen!

My two friends and I were trying to hail a cab to get back home. We had been out the whole afternoon, and were quite tired.

Most cars had a ‘Hired’ or a ‘Busy’ sign, and we were quite irritated. We tried calling for a cab, but to no avail.

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          Courtesy – http://www.123RF.com

Finally, after 15 minutes, we saw one, and luckily for us, the cab slowed down, and dropped off a couple of people on the same road.

Yay! I got in at the front, and my friends got in at the back.

We gave the cabbie directions, and just as he started the car, there came a continuous beeping sound.

The cabbie said, “Ma’am, could you please fasten your seat belt?”

I laughed and nodded, quite forgetting that I had already worn it. When I saw that I had worn it, I said, “I have.”

The beeping continued. The cab driver felt that maybe, the buckle of my seat belt had not engaged properly, and asked if I would unfasten and refasten the seat belt again.

I happily complied. But the mysterious beep was back again.

Suddenly, the cab driver guffawed loudly and said, “Sorry ma’am. It is ‘I’. I have not worn my seat belt. Must have forgotten to fasten it after I gave my last customer his change, just before you got in.”

We had a good laugh, and till he dropped us off, the cabbie kept shaking his head and saying, “That was a first, how could I?”