A brief sojourn on Monday


The week has begun, and yet another weekend has joined the archives of history. Monday is almost over in our part of the world.

My kids are back home, with schedules, tests and assignments for the week. My weekly plan sits in a neatly written list on my table. Somehow, the fun we had over the weekend seems to have evaporated. In its place is a seriousness, and a sense of purpose. The next weekend seems aeons away.

And between the two weekends, work we must.

It is around 7.30 p.m. and all of us are busy tapping away on our laptops or staring at our screens, seeking answers to various questions!

In just a little while, my husband walks in. He pulls out a plastic packet from his backpack.

He says, “These are jackfruit chips that my friend at work gave me.”

The jackfruit chips are from the friend’s orchard in Kerala, India – a region renowned for the quality of its jackfruit, and for the many delicious chips, jams, preserves etc that are made from it. Fresh jackfruit had been specially picked, sliced and fried into chips during the friend’s trip to his home town.

All of us crowd around, and open the packet of chips with great anticipation. We pop them into our mouths.

Absolutely perfect, crunchy, fresh and delicious. We dive in for more, rendered speechless for a few minutes, as we stand around the table and munch.

The freshness of the chips transports us to the backwaters of Kerala, and evokes memories of houseboats and cups of tea, of coconut trees and green fields, of kingfishers and the Arabian Sea, of serenity and peace.

We soon come out of our reverie. Back to Monday and reality. But just for a few moments there, we were away on a holiday, and come back refreshed. The week does not seem so long after all.

Carpet of flowers


This afternoon, as I rushed to complete a few errands, my eyes saw that the road was filled with beautiful pink flowers that had fallen from a nearby tree. And, as I watched, the flowers continued to fall, swaying gently in the wind and gliding to the road. There were many.

They had served their purpose, giving generously of their beauty, expecting nothing in return. A few of these flowers had also fallen on some green bushes that lined the road. And even after they had served their purpose, these flowers still decorated the bushes and brought them to life!

My attention then shifted to the tree. It was in full bloom, wrapped in pretty flowers, gently swaying in the breeze.

I paused to take pictures. This got me thinking.

Life goes on. Days fly past. Morning quickly becomes night. ‘Things to do’ lists grow, shrink and expand at an alarming pace. Life’s pauses are few and far between. Technology rules. Necks are bent forward in a permanent posture of seeing and experiencing the world through one’s smartphone. Fingers are so used to touchscreen technology that we even try to zoom into physical copies of photographs.

Mother Nature is busy too! But where is the time to notice her beauty or her generosity? The miracle of sunrise and sunset are only used to pace our day, time our workouts or fix our various appointments. There is no time to enjoy the appearance of stars on the dark, velvety sky every night or appreciate a glorious sunny day! Weather reports are again to plan one’s schedule rather than to appreciate the lashing tropical rain or a grey, cloudy day!

We need to take small breaks – to stop, to appreciate, to rejuvenate and to be grateful!

The traffic in our lives…


I am standing on the 14th floor in my friend’s apartment. I look out of the window. I can see the highway below, where cars and trucks are whizzing past, taking people and goods to various destinations.

Just behind the highway is a cycling track that is surrounded by lush greenery. People on the cycling track are enjoying the morning, the fresh air, and the feeling of goodness from all that exercise.

Beyond the cycling track is the ocean, where waves are beating against the shoreline. Boats and ships can be seen as mere specks from where I stand, bobbing gently on the water’s surface.

When I slide open the window a little, the sound of traffic is quite loud. Along with this noise, there comes a cool breeze that gently whips the hair around my face – so refreshing.

This is so much like our lives, where there is heavy traffic in our minds about chores, assignments and deadlines.

During some parts of the day we feel choked by the traffic; then again, when we are not so busy our life slows down a few notches, and we are on the cycling track, where we stop to enjoy life, where we focus on our goals and feel positive.

Then again, when the day winds down, we are at peace; we are in that in-between zone, where the day’s worries have gone, and tomorrow’s checklists haven’t invaded! A time when we are on the beach, enjoying the gentle breeze, rejuvenating ourselves and bonding with family!

Not a cent…


A couple of years ago, my son came up to me, and asked if he could start getting pocket money on a regular basis.

I asked him if he needed to buy anything?

“Yes, I need many things. So,  I thought I would plan out what I need, and buy it with my pocket money”, he said.

We agreed on an amount, and a few chores that he needed to do to earn a portion of the pocket money. The deal was signed.

After a few weeks of saving up, one evening, he came to me with a list of things he wanted to buy.

So, we went down to the local super-market, and a stationery shop. 

My son looked for all the items he wanted, noted down the prices, added, subtracted, deleted and prioritized…and then guess what?

He did not spend even a single cent!

I asked him for the reason.

He mulled over my question and said, “Things are so expensive, I have to plan better.”

I smiled. Kids…give them their own money and they are loath to spend it!!