Monthly Archives: November 2016

Soaring high

There is something so soothing about a green meadow – beautiful, green grass for miles around. Add to this combination a blue sky with cotton-puff clouds floating lazily, and you realize that nothing can be more beautiful.

I visited such a place this weekend. What a treat it was! Green, blue and white. This meadow is also a popular spot for kite enthusiasts, and between the green grass and the blue sky, were many, many kites soaring up into the sky. Bright red ones, yellow ones, white and pink ones, and even one shaped like an insect.

We sat down to watch. Each kite danced and fluttered, sometimes flirting with the clouds, sometimes seeking a higher purpose, connected by seemingly invisible threads to the person below.

I tried to find the owner of each kite, but gave up after a point, as I could only identify a few. Some clouds turned grey, as we watched. Some kites had soared quite high, gracefully swaying this way and that.

An afternoon of pure bliss. Sharing some pictures.

Hyperlinking in the forties

After the forties have rolled-in, life has changed in subtle ways. There is always this feeling of being at the mid-point of one’s life, knowing that four decades have flown past, and there is much to be done. However, goal-setting has become more realistic, and one is generally more comfortable in one’s skin. 

Having said this, there is another side to this whole ‘forties’ story. And, much to my alarm it seems to only get worse. For want of a better term, I call it the ‘hyperlinking syndrome’. With teenagers and tweens at home, and multiple activities to coordinate, it is no surprise! 


Courtesy – can stock photo

This syndrome has nothing to do with either the Internet or technology. Let me explain.

So, for example, I go to the bedroom to pick up some clothes. Before I reach the cupboard, my eyes fall on some books that have been left there by my daughter. My brain hyperlinks to this new task. I shake my head and take the books to be put away. As I turn around, I find a towel lying on the floor. Hyperlink again. I pick up the towel, and have the books in the other hand. I head to the laundry room. While there, I realize that the washing machine has finished washing. Hyperlink. I take the clothes out to dry. Hyperlink. I need to water the plants. Hyperlink. I need coffee. I make myself a cup. Hyperlink. I make a list of grocery items that I need to buy. Hyperlink. I look for a pen. Hyperlink. I get distracted by messages on my phone.

It is only much later that I realize that I never took the clothes from the cupboard, and that my daughter’s books are still in the laundry area. This is how it is now.  

Hyperlinks are really cool in the tech-world, but when one’s brain hyperlinks to unrelated tasks, it is not so cool.
Writing down to-do lists doesn’t seem to help any! What I need is a voice instructor that orders and supervises me to finish every task that I take up, before I rush to do another task. 

Walls

It only seems like yesterday that my son used his crayons to doodle on the walls of our home. Small squiggles, mountains with the a smiling sun peeping in between and random shapes; the wall was a work of art and love. Then again, my daughter discovered the beauty of her palm prints on the wall one afternoon, many years ago, when I was catching some shut eye. I woke up to pretty palm prints in red decorating our living room wall – the result of a tube of red lipstick that had fallen from the dresser.

Courtesy – http://www.123rf.com

I conducted many experiments with the best cleaning agents for various types of stains and squiggles.  By the time I discovered the perfect cleaning fluid to clean the walls of these works of art, the children had moved to the next stage of using the walls of our home. They pinned pictures of their favourite characters, their drawings and school timetables on the walls.  Our walls also hosted dartboards, and served as bouncing boards for tennis balls and table tennis balls.

From posters to sketches to games, the walls have borne them all. I use the wall to pin my to do lists and frame pretty pictures.

More than all these, the walls have bounced and echoed the sounds of giggles and laughter, served as shields to children playing hide and seek, absorbed memories of our lives, giving us that much needed security and time-away from the pressures of everyday life.

In a few years, when my children leave home for University, these walls will stand quiet, till the children come back for their term breaks. Then, once again happy sounds will bounce of these walls.

And then again, there will come a time, when I will use these same walls for support when I amble slowly across the house, lovingly tracing my hand on these walls and remembering a time when tiny hands doodled and expressed their creativity.

If I had the time….

This evening, as I stood on my balcony gazing up at the sky, I admired the fluffy clouds moving gently across the sky.

I smiled, as I remembered a game that we played as kids, when we would lie on our backs on the lawn, with the most beautiful blue sky spread above us, with cotton-puff clouds scattered in various patterns.

We called it the Creator’s garden. Based on the shape of the clouds on a particular day, we would make predictions about what the Creator had planted. From cauliflowers to pumpkins to beans and carrots, we played this silly game over and over again.

Lazy holidays under the sun, watching flocks of birds fly overhead and colourful butterflies flitting about.

I asked myself why, as adults we don’t have the time for such simple pursuits that give so much joy.

I then asked myself this question and tried answering it – “If I had the time, would I spend time on such simple and fun activities?”

Yes….! If I had the time I would….

– chase raindrops on the window pane with my fingers

– cut okra slices, dip them in paint and make flower patterns on the wall

– blow soap bubbles on a bright, sunny day and chase the bubbles as they glisten and fly away

– eat a huge cotton candy

Courtesy – istock
– try hanging upside down on the sofa as we used to do as kids 

– play and fight with my siblings over board games

– watch the night sky and stars, sitting in our backyard

– laugh at old family jokes that are repeated ad nauseum

– splash water by jumping into one puddle after another on a rainy day

– laugh at silly things

– eat sugarcanes and mangoes, with friends and siblings on a hot summer’s day.

Sigh! If only I had the time….

What simple things from your childhood would you do, if you had the time?

Would love to know…

The Toy Cupboard

The days seem to whiz past, the hands of the clock seeming to move faster, when nobody watches them.  The newborn has become a toddler, a tween and a teen. 

Picture courtesy – @ Can Stock Photo

Slivers of silver in the hair; time seems to have stopped briefly, only in digital pictures and short video capsules. 
I stand before the Toy Cupboard in the children’s room. I remember  my discussions with a carpenter (fifteen years ago) to design a toy cupboard that would be both child-friendly and visually appealing. The toy cupboard was delivered, and has been used ever since.

Toys are no longer in the ‘radar’ for my kids. Maybe it is time to retire the cupboard and buy something that would be more relevant.

Easier said than done. I stand before the cupboard looking at clearing some old toys. There are dolls and vehicles, predominantly. 

Barbies, dolls that can close and open their eyes, doll accessories (tons of them) from mini-wardrobes to laundry kits to party and dinner sets.  Echoes from the past waft around, a giggle here, a smile there, a teacher’s game, a mom bakes cookies game, playdough colours stretch these memories into wonderful shapes and vibrant moments.

Afternoons spent combing and braiding dolls’ hair. Then, the move to loom bands and badge-makers, and beading and card-making. Wonderful glittery afternoons spent with coloured tape, beads, string and sequins.

Then, there are the dinosaurs and trucks and cars and Transformers and Ben10 Aliens and more trucks, and magnets and tools and diggers and mixers. Days spent chasing imaginary enemies around the home, the sounds of vehicles moving furiously, accompanying the dash through the house.

Bows and arrows and Nerf guns, a warrior here and an action hero there, peeking from under the cot or standing up bravely for a cause.

Cuddly toy comforters, bits and pieces of broken toys, so many more – each and every one of them associated with a precious memory.

Where did the years fly? I relive those moments all over again.

I may not retire the cupboard. At least, not just yet!