Mrs & Mr. Myna


It is about to rain. The skies are about to open up. Time seems to have slowed down. A cool breeze sweeps into the house giving us a heads-up about the rain that will soon follow.

The trees are swaying and whispering. I am sitting on the couch, between chores. The house is dark, with the sudden grey enveloping us. Outside, the green of the trees contrasts beautifully with the deep grey of the sky.

It is at this specific moment that two myna birds land on my balcony. They are quite vocal. Looks like they are husband and wife, and for sure, they seem to be arguing.

One of the mynas pecks at a wooden twig from my white orchid plant, and says something loudly to the other myna. They go back and forth, debating the merits of a certain twig, or a certain tree to build their nest in. They are oblivious to the breeze, and the grey, heavy clouds.

Their eyes and beaks flit constantly – possibly evaluating the strength of my orchid twigs. All through, they keep up their banter, now loud, now soft, now raucous.

image

  Courtesy – http://www.wunderground.com

As the first heavy drops begin to plop down, the pair jump on to the balcony railings and swoop down into one of the trees. They are now beautifully camouflaged, probably continuing their conversation about where they can set up a stable and cozy home to welcome their little ones into the world.

Maybe, if the twig from my orchid plant passes muster, they will come back again.

The rain lashes on.

Advertisement

My Social Skill Set


Whether I like it or not, social media has become an integral part of who I am. In addition to all the ID cards I have, I now take great effort to maintain my online ‘social identity’.  Maintaining a social connect is not as easy as it seems. It calls for a skill set that would put top-notch resumes to shame!

image

Picture courtesy – http://www.dailygenius.com

So what are the skills?

It calls for a certain type of skill to read, like and comment on forwards and articles. It calls for a strong memory to remember which jokes have already been received and which jokes are to be forwarded, and to whom?

It calls for round-the-clock alertness. It calls for enormous amounts of self-control to stop refreshing messages. It calls for a calm mind to stop reacting each time you hear a ping.

It calls for the ability to take quizzes about your personality, your IQ and your vision. It tests your skills as a farmer, as a ninja, as a catapult expert, as a word builder, as a selfie-taker, and many more.

Social network forwards play on your emotions. You suddenly find yourself reading about missing children, and raising money for surgeries. How do you verify the authenticity of these posts?

While you worry about these little kids, there is one article that claims coffee can burn all your fat. As you scroll down in happiness sipping your coffee, you read another article which says coffee will make you put on weight. Phew!

Some articles make you guilty, some make you laugh. You read about the holidays people are taking, the movies people are watching, and add your own to this space.

Even if you go on a social media detox program, it will lure you back – back into a world where everything is virtually real.

Simple lines


My sister loves to sketch. In fact, she sketches whenever she can. She always has a sketchbook about her person, and a satchel that holds sketching essentials.

No wonder then that her son, my adorable three-year old nephew, wants to sketch too. So, on most evenings, my sister and my nephew try their hand at sketching.

It is fun to watch the concentration on my nephew’s face as he tries to capture the theme.

Last week, when the duo sat down to sketch, it was decided that the day’s theme would be a giraffe.

With furrowed brows and deep concentration, both of them got down to work.

In just a few minutes, my nephew was ready with his giraffe and ran to show his mother. 

He then asked her, “Mom, what’s taking you so long?  It is only a giraffe. See my drawing.”

And this is what he drew, a three year old’s sketch of a giraffe. So beautiful and simple, capturing the essence of the giraffe.

image

When my sister sent me the sketch, I was amazed.

The sketch got me thinking –  a child lives life simply, observes simple things and expresses himself without any effort.

As we grow, our view of the world gets complicated and we get so caught-up in it that we lose our view of simplicity.

Of Bird Watching and Halloween


Just got back after a long day at the local bird park. It was a hot and humid day, but we did see some lovely and exotic birds. We walked around the park taking in all the sites and sounds of the various birds. From colourful, squawking macaws and wetlands birds, to birds of prey, we saw them all.

I had my bit of Halloween spookiness at the bird park today. I love taking pictures of flowers, plants and animals. So, there were these beautiful bunches of baby pink flowers hanging from a small tree. I zoomed in to click, when the flowers shook suddenly.  There was no breeze. The shaking stopped as suddenly as it had started. I focussed again on the flowers, and would you believe it, the flowers shook again, more violently this time.

 

image

                 The shaking flowers

My son shouted from behind me, “Mom there are two Iguanas above you.”

                 

image

                  Mr.Iguana Shaker 1

image

                  Mr.Iguana Shaker 2

Ha ha….nothing spooky there! We had a good laugh. Here are some pictures I took today.

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

image

        All images are copyrighted to
  http://www.simplemomentsoflife.wordpress. 
com

Sound bites from the past


Memories come in various shapes and sizes – mostly as our own mental images, as experiences, as smells, as music, as sounds, as moments of happiness, and many other emotions that help us recollect a particular incident with amazing clarity.

I spent this week clearing hundreds of old audio cassettes, which we have somehow not had the heart to throw – though most of the songs are available on the Internet these days.

As I sorted through them, so many wonderful memories came rushing back. There were cassettes containing dance tracks that I had performed in school and university. I remember my mom taking them to a recording studio to get them edited to the required length. There were cassettes of all the hits that we used to sing, of our favourite bands. The tapes must have got worn out by all the playing.

There was an audio cassette labelled ‘Family’. I played it on my small cassette player. The familiar whoosh sound started. Somebody seems to have recorded our family on a lazy Sunday afternoon. Silly jokes, some singing, some teasing…and then my Dad’s voice. I choked as I heard his voice. How much I missed those days.

There were cassettes of our music lessons..many of them arranged by date. Then, lots of movie audio tracks.

I retained only the ‘Family’ and music lessons cassettes. All the rest, I threw away. Before I threw them, I showed my children the cassettes, explained how they worked and showed them how the tape was spooled inside.

As the spools in them rotated all those years ago, our lives happened!

Late night flight


Our flight is at 11.50 p.m. We leave home at 9 p.m. to avoid the heavy Friday evening traffic.

After check-in and immigration we walk around in the duty free area, looking at beautiful displays of cosmetics. There are chocolates, perfumes, books, bags and all kinds of stuff. Branded, every single item, branded.

Beautiful models stare at us from the posters, looking at our red and bleary eyes.

I look around me, am I the only sleepy one here? Lots of people seem to be walking energetically, laughing and talking.

We plod towards the departure gate for security checking and finally to board.

The flight is cold, I snuggle into the blanket. People are watching movies all around me, there is the ‘standard baby who cries’ through the night, probably with ear block.

Can’t rest my hand. Both my kids are sprawled on my lap, deep in nod land, as I struggle to move. Periodically I set them upright. I let my guard down and the two are back, jostling for the most comfortable position.

I nod off unbeknowst to myself. I wake up and realize that a mere 20 minutes have passed.

I am green with envy as I see the man across the aisle, fast asleep;  the woman in front of me is in splits as she watches a romcom, another man is working away on his laptop.

The stewardesses walk up and down the aisle, attending to passenger requests. I perk up a little bit when I look at the duty free magazine, lost in my mental shopping for a few minutes.

I need to stand up and stretch. No such luck.

Finally after what seems like eternity, we land…but it’s not over. Disembark and walk, hundreds of weary people plodding-on at this unearthly hour. Immigration done, and now at the luggage carousel.

The bags look tired too, as they slowly snake down. Brown bags, black suitcases, purple, whites, greens…no sign of our bags.

Finally, they arrive. We load them on the trolley and head to the taxi stand; another long wait before we reach our destination.

Bliss, the ability to stretch and bend. The joy of having a hot cup of aromatic coffee.

Back on land…till the next flight.

Saturday Special: I write


I would like to thank Arpita for giving me this opportunity to be a guest blogger on her blog Scribbles@Arpita, for a special series in May, on ‘writing’. I thoroughly enjoyed writing this piece. Please do go check out her blog and her short story I am Mala on Amazon and the eFiction magazine.

Scribbles@Arpita

Hello and welcome to Saturday Specials in May! As promised, I am back with a special series having guest blogs on Scribbles@Arpita

download

Image Source

Today’s guest is Nimi Naren, who blogs regularly at Simple Moments of Life. It is a pleasure to have her as the opening guest blogger of the season. In my brief time at WordPress, I have been lucky to have come across some really wonderful bloggers. Nimi, is undoubtedly, at the top of my list of favorite bloggers. The first thing that attracted me to her writing was the sheer simplicity of it. She writes about simple day-to-day moments, but with her penmanship even the most mundane of things appear so beautiful! The other thing which amazes me is the discipline with which she writes every single day, never failing to update her blog on any day.

Today, Nimi shares with us about her…

View original post 883 more words

Oil Baths


Each of us has special memories of our growing up years – and as we plod through our lives now, we do remember those days, when life was so simple and uncomplicated.

One of the most wonderful memories I have is about a ritual that our family followed on Sundays. Most people in our part of the world probably had the same ritual too.

Sundays were ‘oil bath’ days. The day went something like this. We woke up at 7 a.m. and had a light breakfast. After this, my siblings and I would sit on a straw mat on the floor. Our mom would then warm oil in a small wok, to which basil leaves, pepper corn, raw rice, hibiscus flowers etc were added.

Once the oil was warm enough to say ouch! when it touched the palm of your hand, the oil massage would start.

As our mom massaged our scalps with warm oil, our whole body would relax, and eyes automatically close – it was pure bliss. Our hands, legs and faces were also massaged with oil.

We had some old frocks that we wore for this activity. We were asked to soak- in the oil for a good 45 minutes. So, during this time we sat and played all kinds of word games.

We took turns to have our baths in hot water, washing away the oil with heavenly-smelling shikakai powder.

Once all the kids were done, the adults did the same.

Oil bath days had special menus, and the food was served piping hot. The whole family would sit and eat together.

After the heavy meal, my Dad would play 70s music; the deep voices of the singers lulling us into sleep.

We would wake up refreshed and relaxed, ready to have some hot cocoa or if we were lucky, a little cup of coffee.

Oil bath days were so special. They rejuvenated our minds and bodies, and also strengthened family bonds.

Does ‘A Here & A Now’ exist?


If the past and future did not exist, we would live every day without any points of reference.

For each task there is an associated memory from the past or a task to be completed in the future.

So, do we really live in the present or are these only associations from the past?

I ponder deeply about this because every single time I smell mangoes, I am transported back to childhood, whenever I listen to eighties’ music, my high school days come to mind.

So where is the now in these moments?

Again, most things I do today are with tomorrow in mind. I plan this, I plan that.

So then, what is ‘the here and the now’, without these associations ? Lots of books on dealing with stress talk about letting go of the past and focussing on the present and not worrying about the future.

I know there is a difference between tasks to be completed in the future vs. worrying about the future; as also the difference between reminiscing about the past vs. allowing it to haunt your present.

But I am still left wondering if one can have a here and a now with no trappings of the past or the future.

Would love your views on this.

A mid-ocean brush with divinity


We are on holiday in Bali. The ocean sparkles- turquoise blue and emerald green. Small waves play about in white swishes, as we head out in a glass bottom boat, to our snorkelling site.

We are very excited as we peer through the glass bottom. Our guide points out various things – both around us and in the water.

We arrive at the snorkelling site. When I jump into the water, I feel the waves bobbing, and suddenly feel nervous about the depth. Swimming in a defined pool is ok, but this…!

I keep asking the guide to stay close to me. There are a few people who dive-in as we arrive. It can’t be that scary, I tell myself.

As we go down a few feet,
we are overwhelmed by the sudden explosion of colour. The Creator is such a great artist; fishes in shades and combinations unimaginable, flit or swim gracefully around us. I feel the tension ebbing away, though I still feel a tad nervous.

After a few minutes, I come up for air. And there is another loud upward splash in front of me that nearly does me in. I scream out and flail my arms.

The splash slowly takes the form of a young lad, probably in his late teens.

He winks at me and says, “Hi! I am the Ocean God. Pleased to meet you.”

I laugh. I love his humour and its spontaneity. 

I continue to laugh as I dive back in, more relaxed now, ready to see more.