A flash of red

Heavy rain is imminent. Dark, grey clouds are hanging heavy and low in the sky. The gentle breeze ‘that was’ is now gathering momentum, and the leaves are rustling and giggling in anticipation.

I am on my walk, my mind filled with a hundred thoughts, as restless as the leaves. The usual calm that prevails on my walk is missing today. I just accept it and plod on, allowing my thoughts free rein and watching their play.

As I begin my ascent on one of the roads, a flash of red on the pavement catches my eye. From where I am, it looks like a bright red stone or a shiny bit of paper.

When I get closer to this shiny object, I stop in wonder! It is a beautiful petal, reddish-orange in colour, fallen on the grey pavement. Beautiful water droplets adorn this petal, reflecting its vibrant colours even more, and sparkling in the dull evening light.

I am fascinated. The petal lies there, its days over, but still seeking to give joy, still seeking to bring a moment of softness and gentleness to this hard road called life.

I quickly whisk out my phone and capture a picture. The skies open up, and I dash for cover.

I stand under the sheltered walkway, watching the dancing raindrops, the pitter-patter of the rain on the glass ceiling, the swaying plants, the rivulets of water….such beauty.

I think back to my beautiful petal. The rain would have carried away the petal, a drop of bright red floating away in a stream of joy, to places unknown.

The rain peters out. I sigh. I wait awhile. And slowly, the crickets start tuning their instruments for their nightly chorus. Huge silver water drops fall with big plops from the trees. The sky is clear. My mind is bereft of any thought. I walk back home.


Home and life hacks

We are at my mom’s home. My son calls out that he is unable to close the tap in the kitchen. My mom tells him that there is a small hack to solve this problem. She brings out a pair of tongs, idukki, and strikes the tap gently on the side. And lo! problem solved.

We all have these hacks in our homes – to close a window at a particular angle, to know how to balance some old pots and pans on the stove, to use blunt pencils in electric sockets, when there is just a two pin plug that needs to fit into a three pin socket.

We all become proficient at discovering such hacks that make our lives simple and easy, without having to call the handy man every time. Most moms are champions at this!

Many a time, we also know intuitively that we are coming down with a cold, an allergy or a stomach bug. Our bodies are finely attuned to such cues. Sometimes, we can preempt these incidents, and use home remedies or other hacks that work for us.

Courtesy – http://www.123RF.com

So also, we have life hacks. When our mind and intuition tell us about people, make us feel comfortable or uncomfortable, give us good vibes and make us feel positive. Most times, due to the crazily busy lives we lead, we don’t stop to listen to these life hacks. Our minds are so full of thoughts and plans that we miss these cues.

That voice within us that can help us lead better lives – simple things like learning to switch off the tap in the mind, which allows the flow of so many unwanted and irrelevant thoughts, to learn to be mindful, and to focus on things that truly matter.

Up in the clouds….

We are up in the hills, on our way to Shillong, the capital of Meghalaya, also known as the ‘Scotland of the East’ and ‘the abode of clouds’!

The road snakes right and left, as our car makes its way up the hills. As we go higher, we are literally in the clouds. It’s as if the clouds have come down to play a game of hide and seek. Our car slices through these clouds, as they glide past us, busily going about their day.

We see flashes of green, then white, and then green. The sun shines on a glorious, blue sky. The world looks happy and cheerful.

All along the way, we see the locals going about their day, busy with farming and mining. This beauty surrounds them everyday. I feel envious.

We stop now and then at a viewing point; to stretch our limbs and soak-in the beauty all around us. The distant calls of birds can be heard, and the occasional vehicle. Otherwise, there is only a deep silence. There is harmony, there is peace.

At one such viewing point, we sit down to look at the merry clouds and the sedate hills below.

We sit down, each of us wrapped up in our own thoughts, trying to understand this beauty and to relate it to our crazy lives that have so many deadlines.

Here, there are no deadlines, life seems simple and peaceful. We are in no hurry to leave.

There are fresh pineapple stalls along the way, and hundreds of varieties of Indian pickles on sale.

We sink our teeth into the delicious and succulent pineapples, watching the road fade away into the distance.

As we go higher, the clouds envelope us completely, in a welcoming embrace. We stop at the Lake Umiam view point, where trees, mountains and lake have all merged with the clouds.

Brrrr…it is cold. We watch the lake from above, visible on and off. Faraway lights are twinkling through the cloud cover.

There is a mobile tea stall (in the boot of a car), where we slurp cups of hot, masala chai. We walk up and down, exclaiming at everything.

After all, we are not up in the clouds often..!

Coffee, me, myself – Part 1

It is that hour of the morning, when the body refuses to wake up, a few more minutes would definitely help. The bluish-pale silvery light of morning illuminates the bedroom. The birds are already up & about, calling out their sweet little tunes.  My hand stretches out to find the top of the talking clock by my bedside table. I gently press the top and the lady in the clock announces the time, “It is 6 a.m. on Monday.”

I struggle out of bed, brush my teeth, and robot-like, make my way to the kitchen.  I heat water in the pan and fill my filter with coffee powder.  I pour the hot water into the filter.  The aroma that wafts my way is pure bliss….the morning is getting better.  When the coffee filters down, I make myself a hot cup, frothing at the top, with a little bit of sugar.  I smell it….perfect!


Image courtesy – en.wikipedia.org

I go to the balcony and breathe in the cool morning air, I look at my sweet little plants and enjoy them for a moment.  I head back to the sofa & sit down, feet up.  I can see the road junction down below.

I savour every sip of coffee, just as I relish this moment of being alone with myself. The household is quiet, outside I can see cars at the junction, people on their early morning jogs, the green trees and the chirping birds.  My thoughts resemble a patchwork quilt.  Many colourful patches, about the day that just went by, the future, chores to be done today….jokes that came through on Whatsapp, projects that the children have to accomplish this week.

But in this meditative state, and with the coffee soothing me…I am content and happy….the day’s tensions await me, but this coffee can take on all of them and more.