What we do not see…


My husband and I are in our car, travelling down one of the main streets in the business district. The sun is ruthless in its intensity. The roads seem to be grey metal rivers, shining and shimmering, seeming to have lives of their own. The trees look dehydrated. Birds are nowhere to be seen. There is only the road and all the weary drivers on it, braving the heat.

Murphy’s Law has taken effect; just when we want to escape the confines of the car and the stifling heat, we hit every red signal, and have to stop often. At one such signal, as we wait impatiently, my eyes are drawn to the reflection of a building on another building’s glass facade. I quickly click a picture.

The building that is being reflected is shaking and shimmering on the glass facade. I quickly look at the original building. It is sturdy, has clean lines and rises majestically into the sky. I look at the reflection again – the same solid building now appears squiggly and shaky.

The signal turns green, and we are on our way, thankfully. I ponder over what I have just seen. Many a time we see ourselves mostly as reflections – in how other people view us or think about us. If someone puts us down, we become like the squiggly reflected building, losing faith in our own selves and believing more in how we are reflected in the other person’s mind, rather than what we know to be true about ourselves.

All we have to do is step back and stop looking or worrying about how others perceive us. We should only look at our strengths and positive qualities, and stand tall like the original building.

The 94th of July…


It is 6 a.m. in the morning, and I have just finished my first cup of filter coffee for the day.

One of the first things I do every morning is change the dates on the calendars at home. I love doing this. There is something so satisying about knowing that another day has begun – a day that is filled with hope and promise.

One of these calendars is made up of two square wooden blocks, one each for each of the date digits, and a small rectangular block for the month. I set the date manually on this calendar every morning.

This morning, when I go to change the date, I am surprised to see that the date has been set to the 94th of July. This makes me smile. The reason? My little nephew, who is staying with us this week.

When he wakes up, I ask him what the date is? He quickly rushes to the calendar, changes the blocks and says, “It is 43rd July.”

And this is how much fun it is….with my nephew around, there is a sudden energy in the house. For this six year old, every day is filled with possibilities. He creates a buzz when he flits from room to room.

Giggles are lurking in his throat, ever ready to spill out in torrents, accompanied by eyes that are glinting with mischief and curiosity.

All of us at home are constantly taking rides on all his toy vehicles, flying from the kitchen to the living room, fastening seat belts and readying ourselves to land.

We get quizzed about cars and aircraft, we run around playing hide and seek.

Even my kids, who are too big to play with toys, have now let themselves go. We find ourselves rejuvenated.

Through the eyes of my nephew, we look at things with curiosity and excitement – where fans are propellers, the sofas are trucks and where every activity is carried out with the sole objective of having fun.

And now, all of us gather to celebrate the birthday of a family member. The cake is ready to be cut, and we ready our phones to click pictures.

My nephew quickly runs to the cake… runs his fingers on the buttercream icing and puts a blob into his mouth, his eyes reflecting his delight. He is totally in the moment; his joy complete.

We look at him and feel infused by his enthusiasm, his energy and his spirit.

So much to learn. If only we could retain this curiosity and this zest for life, we would have so much fun every day.

Living in the moment and giving it your all….!

Strange Things Do Happen


Sometimes, when we read about strange incidents that have happened to people, we stop to wonder whether such things can actually happen in people’s lives.

There is one such incident that happened in our lives, many years ago.

We’d just bought a new car – a beautiful, deep green colour. Shiny and clean, waiting to guzzle up the miles.

My husband usually drove to work in the car. A few days after we had bought it, my husband called me at work and casually mentioned that a coconut had fallen on the car; from a tree that was close to where he had parked. A small dent appeared on the roof of the car. We laughed about it and moved on.

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Image courtesy – Wikipedia

Exactly ten days after the coconut fell, and I was at work, my husband called me again.

He said, “Guess what happened to the car?”

I laughed and replied, “Another coconut fell on it?”

He said, “No, a coconut tree fell on the car. The hood is completely smashed in.”

I gasped and reeled from the shock of his statement.

He had taken pictures for insurance purposes and forwarded them to me.

I was amazed at how the tree had fallen. There was a row of cars parked, and the tree had fallen exactly on our car, not an inch this side or that side.

We were glad nobody was near or inside the car, when the tree fell.

Maybe, the initial coconut fall was a warning of sorts, or the tree was trying our car on for size. Whatever it was, it happened.

Strange things do happen. Sometimes we are those people, whom others read about and say, “Can’t believe that actually happened.”