An up’lifting’ experience


Elevators or ‘lifts’ as they are called are a law unto themselves.

I am standing in the lift lobby. Two lifts service the building. Both lifts are on the highest floor (definitely a conspiracy).  It’s almost like there’s a hidden camera watching people who are running late, which then informs the lift to stay put for a while on the farthest floor possible!

I groan and pace, as I press the button to call these moving capsules.

One responds, and slowly makes its way down, floor by floor. It finally reaches my floor, and the doors open.

Surprise!

Fifteen faces stare back at me, as if to say, “Hey, why did you stop the lift.”

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          Courtesy – http://www.jantoo.com

I smile foolishly; one woman nods, all the others stare at some point above my head, thinking of very important things!

The other lift is still stuck on the 16th floor.  I press the call button, but it doesn’t budge. I wait now for the working lift to come back up again. Phew! finally it arrives.

Now, I am the only person in the lift, the mirrors in the lift reflect and re-reflect my images. I turn, a hundred heads turn. Finally, I reach the ground floor.

On my way back in the afternoon, I am warmly received by both lifts on the ground floor. I smile. I stand next to the lift on the left side and press the button. I look at my phone, and look up. The doors remain closed. I look puzzled before I realize that the call was answered by the other lift. By the time I run to the other lift, it’s doors have closed and it has started moving upwards in response to a call from a higher floor.

I press the button again, and enter the other lift. Truly an uplifting experience.

Am I the only one, or do you all have crazy ‘lift’ experiences too?

The wait


There’s nothing as beautiful as the sky filled to the brim with silvery, grey clouds. The effect is beautified by the sliver of blue sky that can be seen below the layer of cloud.

The sun is still shining at the other end, and the contrast between the yellow and the grey is spectacular.

The clouds wait in suspense for a directive from the weather god to let go. A gentle, cool breeze swirls about, teasing the trees and the bushes.

I open my window in anticipation, to see this miracle unfold. It never ceases to amaze me.

In a few moments the drops fall in a gentle ‘plop-plop’ dance.  Sharing some pictures that I took from my window.

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A bookworm’s journey


I remember some of the first books I read as a child. I must have been six or seven, when I got two books of the pop-up variety – one was Cinderella and the other was Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs.

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Each time I turned a page, magical things happened. I still remember a page from the Cinderella book, which showed Cinderella sitting by the fireplace, looking pensive. On that page there was a broom that popped out, and three small kitchen jars that popped out.

I must have read those books a zillion times. Then started the love for comics, devouring every neatly drawn frame, enjoying the dialogues, more magic.

And then, suddenly my sister thrust an Enid Blyton into my hand and said, “Read this.”

It was the first book of the Secret Seven series. I was initially reluctant to read a book that had no pictures. But my sister  sold it to me!

I had taken an important step in my reading journey. Now, I could read words and imagine the scenes in my mind. This was a whole new experience. I gobbled up the entire collection of Blyton books.

‘Twas time to graduate to a new author, but again there was reluctance to move from my comfort zone. My sister was my role model, soon I was trying new books and new authors and new genres.

The years have flown by but my love affair with books continues to this very day. I love their titles, their smell, the many genres, the plots, the stories.

What’s your bookworm journey like? Would love to know.

Candy ‘Shots’


There’s a virus doing the rounds in our neighbourhood, preying on children and adults alike.

So, last night my son and I were at the clinic, sharing the space with a dozen other folk who looked beat, no thanks to this virus.

We had to wait for a long time, and my son rested his head on my shoulders. With little else to do, I observed all the people who came in and went out.

One lady, who came out of the consultation room seemed to have received a shot in her arm. She held her upper arm with the other palm, looking traumatized by the experience. When she saw me, she managed a feeble smile.

My memories went back to my childhood, when we had to take our vaccine shots periodically. Mental conditioning for the ordeal would start hours before, with my grandma, aunt and parents describing that the injection needle would just be a small shooting pain, like an ant bite or some such. And that it would be over before I could say the word ‘vaccination’.

The highlight was of course the candy jar that held pride of place on the doctor’s table. An assortment of yummy candies to entice children to be brave.

Then, when I grew up, got married and had kids, it was my job to prepare my kids.  The shots during the first two years were generally easy.

The poor baby had to be held cozily and firmly, as the doctor gave the baby the shot. The child looked on with innocent eyes, not knowing what was going to hit him or her.

And then the piercing pain, the shock registering on their innocent faces (which seemed to say that I had somehow let them down) and the reaction, a slow whine that would transform into a full throated bawl.

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Courtesy – http://www.istockphoto.com

It was more painful to watch your children getting the shot than having  them yourself.

Then, when they were old enough to understand, I would start preparing them, and would presell the candies at the doctor’s clinic, praying that the jar would not disappoint.

When kids say the most unexpected things !


Recently, I was involved in a project, whose focus was on the 3Rs – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.

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      Courtesy – http://www.pinterest.com

The stall that I manned was for the recycling and repurposing of old CDs. 

Being a movie buff, I had a whole collection of old CDs that I had taken  with me for this recycling project. My teammates and I planned to demonstrate how one could use these old CDs to make candle holders, coasters, wall hangings, and the like.

Due to the limited time available, we could only demonstrate our projects, and could not get people to try them out.

People came in batches to the stall.  While we were busy, a little boy asked me, “Could I have this CD?”

I was happy to see his keen interest and said, “Sorry, this is only a demo piece and I cannot give this to you, but now that you have seen how it is done, you can try it out at home yourself, hmm?”

He replied, “No, not that CD. I would like that CD.”

He pointed to one of my old movie CDs and said, “Can I have that CD (pointing to a children’s animated film).  I haven’t watched that movie yet.”

I smiled. The things kids say….most unexpected too!

Laws of motherhood


Law of hunger

The amount of time that a mom delays meal preparation (for whatever reason) is directly proportional to the child’s hunger.

Law of efficiency

Whenever a mother cleans up her handbag and neatly organises it to include a first aid kit (bandaids and the rest) to prepare for emergencies, no child of hers will fall or hurt himself or herself till the mom removes the said first aid kit from her bag.

Law of company

When the kids are young, every mom wants a breather from meal times, nappy changes and other tasks that smell and spell ‘baby’, ‘toddler’ or ‘child’.  As the kids reach their teenage, kids need a breather from their moms.

Law of dropped items

This law merely states that ‘Moms have to pick up stuff (read towels, clothes, papers) dropped at various corners of the house, failing which they will remain as they are.’

Law of blame

This law states that moms are solely responsible for all missing items from a child’s room, after she has organized and cleaned the room.

Law of ‘let me be’

This law states that moms are not allowed to clean stuff in a teenager’s room.

Law of permanent hunger

This law states that as children grow, they are in a permanent state of hunger.

Law of arbitration

This law states that every sibling fight needs a mother arbitrator, whose verdict is always deemed unfair.

Law of hugs

This law states that moms are entitled to hug or be hugged by her children 24 × 7.

Law of love

This law states that all the laws mentioned above are actually sub-laws of the Law of love, which states that irrespective of whichever state the mother is in (anger, irritable, jovial, funny, cuddly) at any point in time,

Motherhood = love at all points in time.

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Courtesy-www.clipartpanda.com

Sibling tales #1


This is a story that happens in every family. When the entire family is heading out, there is always one person who is either looking for his/her missing socks or shoes or smartphone, while the rest of the family is standing at the door, simmering or annoyed or yelling or indifferent to this person.

The story is pretty much the same every time, but the character, who is late, keeps changing.

It happened in our home this morning too!

My husband, daughter and I were already in the living room, waiting for the youngest member, my son.

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Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

My daughter’s irritation peaked, as my son, totally oblivious to all of this continued to belt out a song.

My daughter muttered under her breath.

When I asked her, she said, “He always delays us. He is always late…”

I asked her, “Have you never caused a delay? Hmmm?”

Pat came her reply , “Of course I have not.”

I asked her, “Since when?”

She replied, “From this moment.”

“Very funny”, I said, rolling my eyes.

At that moment my son joined us, still crooning. Business as usual. We managed to leave without a full blown war.

Summer mangoes


Summer in the tropics is synonymous with heat, humidity and aggravation. However, summer time is also ‘mango time’.

Every market stocks multiple varieties of mangoes. The golden beauties are piled in pyramids in wide, cane baskets.

You can smell them before you see them. Alphonso, Banganapalli, Neelam, Thothapuri, Malgova, Raspuri…so many, many varieties.

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

When we were kids, my dad would stock up on mangoes every Sunday.  School vacation afternoons were spent with my sisters, in the backyard, eating whole, juicy mangoes with our hands. Squeezing the pulp and scraping every bit of juice and fiber from each mango.

We had yellow, sticky mustaches and palms to show for our efforts.

Tender baby mangoes were pickled, and we had these everyday with curd rice.

We could never ever have enough of this delicious fruit.  After marriage, I discovered that my husband’s family were mango lovers too!  So the saga continues.

Mangoes are one of the greatest joys of an Indian summer, especially eating them with your hands!

The calm and the storm !


The forties have rolled around, and my husband and I are increasingly conscious about our health and its maintenance.

From cardio to healthy eating, and ‘working out’ the steps walked, and our heart rates and all kinds of statistics, we have all the gadgets to track our progress, and to gently boost our egos.

And no, we have not forgotten the ‘taming of our minds’ or our inner well being. We are working on these too!

However, this post is not about all this. This post is about why husbands should not meditate in the mornings.

So, a few days ago, my husband learnt a new technique of meditation.  He loved what it did for him during the training, and weekend practice sessions.

And on a crazy Monday morning, when the house was torn in two, and I buzzed from room to room, cooking, waking kids up and finding lost papers and socks, my sprint from the kitchen to the master bedroom came to a sudden halt – for, in the middle of the room, resting on the floor in a lotus pose, was hubby dear, breathing deep and inhaling peace and calm and feeding them to his every pore. He was oblivious to the world and needless to say, my presence.

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   Courtesy – http://www.shutterstock.com

I crept behind him to open the wardrobe. It let out a mild creaking sound. I closed it and rushed out. My breath  came out in short bursts as my annoyance bubbled. Here I was rushing like a whirlwind and….

At the breakfast table, I hinted to my husband to take his meditative efforts to the guest room, so that he would not be in my way. He complied.

The next morning, as the whirlwind swept me from chore to chore, I realized that I needed some handtowels that I had stored in the guest room.

I gatecrashed the meditation. I slunk behind the calm, and opened the drawer to take the towels. I made various thudding and scraping sounds as I opened and closed the drawers..

I looked at my husband. He did not show any signs of having heard me.

At breakfast, I asked him if he could move to the living room, facing the balcony.

He tried that too…but the phone rang, the door bell rang, and the kitchen sounds probably got to him.

Haven’t seen him meditate in a while. Hmmm.

The little boy in the school bus


This weekend, I met a boy who used to  take the same school bus to school as my son did.

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      Courtesy – http://www.clipartpanda.com

I was so happy to see him. He has grown into a smart boy of ten.

The incident that I am about to narrate goes back to when my son and this boy were 3 to 4 year olds.

Every afternoon, when the school bus would drop off my son at our lobby, this other boy would put his head out of the window and say, “Aunty Nimi, your son troubled me today.”

When I asked the bus attendant, she told me that my son talked a lot, but that he was not really doing anything else. So, I relaxed.

Each time the boy complained, I told him I would take care. As my son and I walked home, I would ask him to stay quiet and not chatter away!

After a few days, the boy stopped complaining. I was very relieved. 

Then, after about two weeks, one day the boy called out to me again. I knew what was coming. I braced myself!

This is what he said, “Aunty Nimi, today your son DID NOT TROUBLE ME.”

I grinned in relief, so did he. He waved. I waved back.