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.

Bread and Breakfast


This Monday morning, we all had a serious case of the blues. We dragged our feet from room to room, bracing ourselves for the week ahead.

I went into the kitchen to get started on breakfast. When I opened the packet of bread, the first slice that I took out had a hole – that was in the shape of a bird’s head – right in the middle of the slice.

This was so strange that I called out to my kids. They came running to see what the excitement was! The blues vanished, as we debated how the bread slice turned out this way, when all the other slices were perfect.

We discussed various theories and what possible bird it could be, and then finally popped it into the toaster. Just a little bit of breakfast excitement and laughter to beat the blues.

This brought back memories of my childhood, and breakfast times at home.

When we were growing up, my parents had this rule – ‘No skipping breakfast, ever.’

When we grew into teenagers ‘who knew everything’, we tried our best to slip away without breakfast, but our parents had antennae and tentacles that caught us every single time.

I remember fun times when we ran around the dining table trying to slip away, but our Dad was at the main door and mom was at the back door. We could only leave after we had had our milk, and idli or dosa or upma or bread. We frowned and grimaced, and left home, still wolfing down remnants of our breakfast.

When I left home for college, there was no one to remind me that I had to eat breakfast, but then by mid-morning my stomach would rumble and I would remember mom and her yummy dishes. But these thoughts were soon forgotten as there were so many things to see, to learn and to do.

Corporate life was no different – I would only eat a late lunch. It took a few years for the wisdom behind having a wholesome breakfast to sink in. And by that time, I had become a mother.

The cycle started again, now it was I who was running behind my daughter, and later behind my son, trying to build ‘breakfast wisdom’ from their formative years.

But History repeats itself. Now my teen tries to slip away unnoticed, if I am not breathing down her neck.

“I’m running late, mom.”

This is her constant refrain. So, I do the ‘door blocking annoying mom act’.

But if I am any example, maybe life will come a full circle again.

Monday morning surprise…


So, we had a long weekend. Three blissful days, where we lazed, met friends, skated, watched movies and ate lots of yummy food.

By yesterday (Sunday) afternoon, all of us had a serious case of the blues. As the evening drew to a close, each one of us prepared for the week ahead, and sighed at the classes, meetings and work and all the hundred other things that make up our week.

With all preparations done, we hit the bed with that heavy ‘tomorrow is a Monday’ heart.

This morning, as each of us rushed about the house, getting ourselves ready, we heard a screechy-chirping, very loud. We wondered about it, but went on with our chores. After some time, the sound persisted and got closer and louder.

My son, the animal enthusiast, and I, ran out to the balcony to see. And that’s when we saw them. A pair of beautiful hornbills, on the trees right next to our block. Each one was sitting on a different tree.

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My son was just putting on his shirt and I told him, “Button up your shirt and then come to the balcony.”

He was so excited that he said, “But the hornbills can’t see me.” And here I was worrying about the neighbours.

They screeched-chirped loudly…and looked so majestic. I quickly took a few shots from my phone. Only one was clear, the other bird was turning away from us.

After a while, they flew away. We went back to our breakfast. The day suddenly seemed so exciting.

My son gave us a 5 minute talk about the hornbill, and we are all wiser now.

All the way to school, we talked about these birds.

Just a five minute visit and they helped us beat the blues and transformed our day.

We hope they will come back this evening.