Five minutes


I have to step outdoors for just five minutes to pick up something. Earlier, before I left the house, I would check the contents in my handbag to make sure I had everything I needed, and used to check my face in the mirror one last time before I left home.

But now, before I leave, I check my mask, and if I have worn it the right way, and check if I have a bottle of sanitizer in my bag.

The street is deserted, I can see the odd person here and there. There is a strange silence. I half walk, half trot, constantly checking my mask. I meet a friend, who is also wearing a mask. We wave at each other, but cannot see each other’s smile, though we know we are both smiling. Our eyes make brief contact, but we don’t stop but greet each other and keep walking in opposite directions. We shake our heads in disbelief at this surreal situation.

On my way back, I am stopped by a flash of green, streaking across a blue sky. It is the most beautiful parrot, in such a beautiful shade of green. Its red, curved beak is silhouetted against the sky. It perches on a flame of the forest tree, at once merging with the green leaves. The bright reddish-orange flowers enhance the green.

I feel a rush of delight, at this unexpected treat, a small and beautiful moment in time. Where, for a moment I forget the world, and what’s happening.

As the parrot turns its head this way and that against cotton-puff clouds on a blue sky, I feel hopeful, I feel charged. Things will get better. There will be many such wonderful days for all of us again. And at that time, such simple moments will be valued more…we will never take anything for granted!

Childhood Treasures


It is cleaning time at home. Today I attack the children’s room.  There is a box labeled ‘to be sorted later’, which has art and other school projects that the children have worked on, over the years.  The idea is to make a scrapbook (digital or physical) of these ‘great pieces of art’ that have been instrumental in moulding the children’s personalities.  Today, I decide to get started on this task with fervour.  Setting a deadline of three hours, within which to get a broad sorting done, I plunge into the task.
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Soon, I see the first drawing my daughter ever made of a small girl with curly hair.

I see a green parrot with a red beak.

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I see my son playing weather man, when he actually  made a weather report for the week, after studying the topic ‘weather’ at school. He predicted rain on Thursday!!

I see the world through their eyes, Dad & Mom stick figures with red hearts filled with such innocent and pure love.

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I see mom’s day cards with the pure and innocent love that only children can give unselfishly; I have been given a ‘ruby’, which is somehow more precious to my son than a ‘diamond’, as he has made a special mention of this fact.

I see their simple sketches of a  girl taking her dog out for a walk on a warm sunny day. I see three chickens hatching from Easter eggs.Slide14Slide2

I see their interpretation of a green meadow, with clumps of grass across the page.  I see rainbow coloured elephants and a happy rabbit bounding in a jungle with beautiful butterflies for company.

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I see a desert scene with camels and the Sphinx, I see walruses with two ‘tusksksk’ (not sure of the spelling here), I see ‘dizines’ of flowers and a ‘rangoli’ crafted out of paper.

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I see the repetition of a ‘mom’ & ‘dad’ pattern.

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I see three simple sketches of a hen, corn and the Sun, with labels.

I also see a multi-coloured rooster with an equally vibrant worm on a farm

rooster& a grass hopper in green grass.

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I see a Happy Diwali card and a perfectly juicy summery water-melon; I see a bird guarding her nest, a half-completed fire-spewing dragon, and simple sketches of lions.

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I try to go back in time to see what those afternoons or evenings were like, when the children expressed their creativity through these drawings.  Some I remember, most I don’t.  Did a story that they hear in school cause them to draw what they did? Where did these vibrant colours come from, where did these concepts come from?

When I show it them now, they laugh and giggle as they see each of their drawings.  My son says, “Did we really do that?  Was that actually my very first drawing?”

My daughter is very happy that I have saved all these.  The Easter Eggs were her pre-nursery project, nearly a decade ago.  How time has flown. I am so glad I saved these drawings, so glad I could share it with the children and show them how unique and creative both of them are, and encourage them to spend more time expressing their creativity.

Now, I am ready to scan these pictures.  As I pick up the drawings and move towards the scanner, a small paper flies out of the pile.  I stop to pick it up and then my eyes mist over.  It is a cut-out of my son’s palm…I presume that the topic assigned was, ‘Write a few things about hands’.

With all his innocence my son has written these three sentences about ‘hands’.

“Just like our fingerprints, we are different too.”

“Lend a helping hand for people who need it.”Presentation2

“Our hands are some of the body parts that help us bond with others.”

Needless to say, my 3 hours stretched to almost the whole afternoon and early evening.  I carry these new treasures to digitize them and relive my children’s childhoods.

                      nimi naren, 29 Jan 2015