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Life reflections

The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Wish

Shinto is the dominant religion in Japan, though it is more of a way of life than a way to worship.Visitors to Shinto shrines can purchase small wooden plaques called ema, upon which they can share their hopes and dreams. Then, they hang them amongst other ema from people who have come before them, in the hopes that spirits will grant their wish This week, show us a wish.

“World without hatred

And violence of all kinds

A wish we all wish.

Quiet and a serene life

A wish that is but a dream.”

20181006_1759581

The serene waters of the lake in our place makes me wish that life everywhere could be as serene. A dream, no doubt, but we can always wish.

The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Wish

 

 

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Life reflections Song of the Road

The Daily Prompt : Chaos

Reading in the newspapers
About violence
Here, there and everywhere.
And then about
The destruction of
Nature’s resources
For the never ending
Greed of man.
To make matters worse
Politicians who are
A class into themselves
And live for power and wealth,
Are bent upon
Making money for generations.
It seems as if there is
Chaos across the world.
But there must be
Something good everywhere,
Life goes on
With all its ups and downs.
There is always
The good,the bad and ugly.
In spite of everything,
It is good to believe
There is not enough
Darkness in the world
To extinguish the
Light of a small candle.

IMG_20160508_062147.jpg

 

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reflections

Everyday Moments – (#SOL- 2020)

My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 89 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. I write to her a little more about our grandchildren😊

1-07-2020

Half the year is over is over and what a year it has been! Wonder what will happen in the second half? We have to hope for the best.

Today has been a sunny day after three days of heavy rain. It is now 8 o’clock and is raining again. The sound of rain falling is soothing and all the troubles of the world seem far away. But troubles are increasing. Today evening we went to the Co-operative Society in our place to buy groceries. The lady in charge said she was quite fed up with the virus and wondered when it would all end. Our life has changed so much. Online classes for children have started but what will the poor people do? They do not have internet facilities.

Temples are such an inherent part of our lives. It seems strange that they had been closed for months. Lord Jaganath temple in Puri is one of the most venerated temples in our country. But this year the annual ‘rath yatra’ was conducted by a few and the town was under curfew. This has not happened for centuries.

Last week when the days were sunny, we hired a worker to clean our garden. There is a jackfruit tree in our garden. This year we got only six fruits. Last year we got more than twenty 😊. We usually distribute them to our friends. We use raw jackfruit to make dosas and other dishes. The ripe ones are good to eat. But cutting them is a big chore because of all the gum that oozes from the fruit when we cut it.

One day I was standing in our backyard talking to someone and I saw the leaves of a tree shake violently. A snake lithered down and came towards me. Suddenly it stopped, it must have sensed my presence. It went back. We call this snake ‘Pagela’ in my language. Then there are all those beautiful birds calling out to each other, the whole day long. I could take photos of the sunbird putting its long beak inside the yellow flower. The champaka flowers from our neighbours’ garden add fragrance to our lives. Much needed and they tell us we are lucky in so many ways.

It was nice to read about the Soliga tribe and how they are able to sell their producer directly to the consumers. Unfortunately the middle men make a lot of money and the growers are always in trouble, in spite of working so hard. Kamegowda, a farmer in a village hasdug so many ponds in his eighty years to help people conserve water. A good lesson to learn. Such people give us hope for the future.

I am reading a fascinating book called The Library at Night by Albert Manguel. I am still listening to Sherlock Holmes in Audible. Those stories are evergreen. 

It is still raining. And I came across this beautiful quotation,

 “Rain is not only drops of water. It’s the love of the sky for earth. They never meet each other but sends love this way.” — Unknown

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jagannath_Temple,_Puri

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dendrelaphis_tristis

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnolia_champaca

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/soliga-tribals-brew-a-perfect…

Karnataka Shepherd Builds 14 Ponds in 40 Years, Turns Barren …

https://www.thebetterindia.com/114464/news-karnataka-mandya-village..

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reflections

OLWG #161

  1. Saint Benedict Hotel
  2. a bit coarse for me
  3. armchair anarchist

The armchair anarchist  was just that . He did not like stir out of the comfort of his armchair. He wanted to change the world from the depths of its comfort. He believed going out on to the roads to fight for a cause was a bit too coarse for him. He was the organiser, the brain behind all the unrest but he was never caught. All the work was done by his men. He had told them to gather in the courtyard of Saint Benedict Hotel. His target was a very important person who would be staying at the hotel.

But all his plans came to nothing. Lockdown was suddenly imposed and people were not allowed to move about without a valid reason. The Coronavirus foiled his plans. He would have to wait. And he would, he had patience and did not like to fail.

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reflections

Everyday Moments – (#SOL- 2020)

My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 89 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. I write to her a little more about our grandchildren😊

23-06-2020

The weather in my place is quite constant as we have only two seasons, summer and monsoon. There are hardly any variations. This thought came to mind because last week we read in the papers that from 19th to 23rd our part of the state and some other part would receive heavy rainfall. But we have been having sunny days with rain in between 😊. It is sunny now but I am seeing dark clouds in the distance.

Yesterday I was talking to my friend, it was her birthday. She was talking about life these days and said with sadness we will live with fear as long as coronavirus is around. We will resume our daily activities but there will be a difference. Unfortunately, it is true. Infection rate is increasing everywhere in my country. In Chennai there is complete lockdown for two weeks. Many places , specially trading centres in Bangalore have decided to close down shops because of the spread of the virus. Our capital, New Delhi is in a bad state. For the first time, two major railway stations, Anand Vihar and Shakur Basti have been transformed into medical facilities for Covid patients. We read about China closing schools in Beijing and restricting air travel from the capital.

As if the virus was not enough, there was firing in China and India borders and many soldiers have been killed. Yesterday we read in the papers that the armed forces have been given full freedom to deal with China. I wonder what is happening everywhere. We are also having border issues with Nepal.

Our everyday life is going on. Today is my mother’s 79th birthday. She lives in Hyderabad with my elder brother. This year she will be coming to our place. She had cancer in 2017 but has recovered now. But it is better if she does not travel. We all have to take care of ourselves. For quite some time she had been wanting to spend time with doddamma, both are very close to each other. But that trip has been getting postponed for some reason or the other.

We went twice for a walk around the lake in our place. It is a rain water harvested lake. Water level is increasing. There are two mounds on the lake bed which have become islands again and are home to many birds. I finished stitching a cross stitch cover for the grinder. I stitched the names of our grandchildren. They were pleased. It looks nice 😊.

I felt very sad to read about the British Council Library being closed in Bangalore. Recently, I came to know that it has closed in Bombay too. I used to go to that library. My thought went back to the two years we had lived in Libya, 1986 to 1988. I had become a member of the British council library there and were allowed to borrow fifteen books at a time. One day we went to the library to learn that it had been closed down. Those were pre-internet days and there was no access to books. Before leaving the place I gave all the books to a friend. But, I kept  Trustee from the Toolroom by Nevil Shute. It is one of my favourite books, I don’t know how many times I have read the book over the years.  James Michener is also one of my favourite authors. I am read his autobiography, The World is my Home. It is fascinating and I am loving every moment of it.

“I have always imagined that Paradise will be a kind of library.”
― 
Jorge Luis Borges

Chennai – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chennai

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reflections

#SoCS June 20/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “zz.” Find a word with double-z in it and use it in your post. Enjoy!

Our monsoon season started the beginning of this month, a little earlier than anticipated due to a depression in the Bay of Bengal and a cyclone. We have received good rain and it has continue till at least October. Last year the rains started a month late and one year they stopped abruptly end of August. We depend a lot on the south-west monsoon.

Yesterday, we saw the Sun after many days. Today the dark clouds have been playing hide and seek with the Sun 😊. During this season, I do not hang the washed clothes outside. Suddenly it starts raining and instinctively we rush out, to get the clothes before they get wet. I am scared of falling on the wet ground.

My husband loves to dry his clothes when he sees the sun shining, at least for a short time. Both these days I saw him run out many times to rescue his clothes. Suddenly there is a drizzle, it did not rain heavily but it was enough to wet the clothes 😊. Many a time there is a drizzle with the sun shining. Such moments, in our language Kannada, are described as the ‘marriage of monkeys’. I do not know why that is so. We have always used that phrase when we see the Sun and the rain together. I have to find out its origin 😊. The origin of so many phrases that we use in any language is a puzzle. It will be an interesting study.


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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)

My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 89 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. I write to her a little more about our grandchildren😊

15-06-2020

It is pouring as I am writing my slice of life.  It was raining every day last week and at nights too. Today morning it was sunny for a short time. Due to wind and rain there was some problem with the telephone line and our landline was dead for three days !! So, we did not have internet too. Though we could use our data connection. We were remembering last year when it did not rain the whole of June. The rains started one month late and we had water problems too. The seasons are changing as they have in the past but this year the spectre of coronavirus is part of our lives.

On Sunday we were horrified to read about more than 11,000 cases in a single day. When will this end? Those who are suffering, not only from the infection but to everything related to it, continue to suffer. And it was sad to read about so many people returning to the cities in search of work as there was no work for them in their villages.

There has been so much suffering everywhere and it was good to read about the good work doe by so many people all over the world. People have come out of their comfort zones to help those in need. I have shared the link of the article in our newspaper. It was heartening to read about people in quarantine in their towns got together to clean the ground of the school where the were quarantined. They said they were working individuals and did not like to sit idle. A Mathematics teacher in the town of Kundapur, Babu Shetty visited the houses of his students, taking all protection, during lockdown, to help his students who could not go to school. He was appreciated by all. There is no internet connection everywhere, specially in villages and small towns. 28 year old Mallappa , a sculptor has created a beautiful idol of Lord Ganesha during the lockdown period.

https://www.deccanherald.com/sunday-herald/sh-top-stories/have-a-heart…

https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-top-stories/for-returning-migrants-time-spent-working-is-time-well-spent-849048.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-top-stories/sculptor…
People have discovered their hidden talents. We came to know that some of our friends sing beautifully only recently. We have been seeing children playing every evening near our house. It is good to hear them enjoying themselves because during the lockdown period it seemed unnatural to not see children playing in the evenings. Of course they were unnatural days. We were seeing children plucking something from the grass growing around us. I asked them what were they plucking. They were collecting some seeds which explode when immersed in hot water. Listening to them, my husband remembered his childhood when he and his cousins collected similar things from the fields in their village. It was good to see children outside.

Our grandchildren enjoying on the banks of the river Rhine:)

Yesterday, it was pouring the whole day and we decided to fry onion pakodas. The weather was perfect to eat something fried 😊. My husband made them and we all enjoyed them with tea. We were making this after a long time. When my children were small I used to make fried snacks for them.

https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/vengaya-bajji-recipe-onion-bajji

There are so many changes in life and we keep changing with them.

“Sometimes in life, a sudden situation, a moment in time, alters your whole life, forever changes the road ahead.”
― 
Ahmad Ardalan, Baghdad: The Final Gathering

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#SoCS June 13/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “nail.” Use it as a noun or a verb. Have fun!

The word nail immediately brought to mind my cousin. She lived with us for four years while studying in the engineering college here. She would get very tense when the exams drew near and I would see her biting nails. She would keep biting them till there was nothing left to bite 😊 . I don’t know if she has given up that habit, I must ask her.

I am reading this amazing book, The world is my home by James Michener. I have read many of his books and loved them. They have taken me to different places and to different times. In the first chapter he writes about a farmer living at the end of the lane where Michener lived. On an early spring day the farmer hammered eight long and rusty nails into the trunk of an aging apple tree. The tree was not bearing any fruit. But after the nails were hammered in, the tree was goaded back to life. That autumn it produced a bumper crop of wonderful apples. The farmer said the nails reminded the tree that its job was to produce apples. Michener writes that at the age of eighty there were some rusty nails hammered into his trunk, heart surgery and so on. He remembered the incident of the farmer and the apple tree which had taken place eighty years earlier. So, at the age of eighty five, he started writing this book. Actually, I have heard about people doing this in my place too. People also make slight cuts to the bark of the tree if it does not produce fruits for a long time. It is fascinating how some customs or beliefs are the same in different parts of the world.

And what a book this is !! The author has taken me all around the world and I am learning so much. I am just half way through the book. And the thought came to mind what I had read some time ago, ‘if you think you are too old to do something, do it anyway.’ 😊

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020

My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 89 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. I write to her a little more about our grandchildren😊

8-06-2020

Today evening after 2 ½ months my two neighbours, Rekha and Mrs Juliet and I sat together in Mrs Juliet’s verandah and talked for half an hour, wearing masks 😊. We had a nice chat and our main topic of conversation was corona and how it is affecting the world. And, sadly, we felt human beings will not change. It is a sad reflection. The South west monsoon has set and we have been getting rains mainly at night. Last two days were sunny but the not hot. We don’t have to water the plants. Our neighbour gave us some plant clippings and we have planted them. 

We had some plumbing and electrical problems and our plumber/electrician came today to fix the problems. He told us that most people who had come from other parts of our state to work here have gone back to their home towns and villages. The plight of blue collar workers was terrible during the lock down. Our cities and their infrastructure thrive on their work and with no work most of them have gone back to their villages. They really suffered and I keep wondering how they are managing. They have been labelled as migrant workers but I don’t feel that is correct. How can they be migrant workers when they have lived all their lives in those cities?

Last week my husband went for his yearly medical check up and fortunately everything is fine. That brought to mind an article I was reading in the paper about a devastated hilly region a few years ago, is now green and beautiful. Uncontrolled mining had led to the devastation. Under the leadership of the district collector, people of that region planted thousands of saplings. It was also nice to read about an old lady, Venkatamma, who is the lifeline birds and other animals everyday. Her family supports her whole heartedly. People everywhere are doing their bit and this gives us hope for the future.

 Last week I made rasam masala , this recipe was given by doddamma to my mother and she gave it to me. We get masala powder in the market but I prefer to make at home.

We enjoy our evening walks. We wear our masks though we do not meet many people. We have to take care of ourselves. The number of cases are increasing in our place and in the country. God only knows when and how this is going to end.

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/individual-green-initiatives-impact-communities-in-malur-srinivaspur-845727.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/committed-efforts-pay-off-vegetation-revived-on-channarayana-betta-845730.html

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

                                                                        Isaac Asimov

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#SoCS June 6/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “fan.” Use it by itself or find a word that starts or ends with it. Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

I am sitting in our verandah, under the fan which is rotating at a good speed. I like the sound of the movement of the fan. Our verandah is enclosed one, with grills on three sides. It is windy and my husband asks me why do I need a fan when there is such good wind from outside? I smile. Till last week the weather was very hot and the fan did not help all that much but somehow we have never liked an AC.

And fan reminds me of the time when our grandson was three or four months. The moving blades of the fan made him smile. He would keep smiling to see it revolve. And when we were talking to our daughter and grandchildren by WhatsApp video call our granddaughter would become excited to see the ceiling fan. They live in Germany and there are no ceiling fans in their house.

I am reminded of roasting plantains in the embers in the kitchen in our village. We have to fan the embers now and then for the plantains to cook properly. These plantains are called ‘ Nendra balehannu’ in Kannada. They are very tasty when cooked on embers. Cashew nuts are also roasted on embers. In January we were in Amritsar and we saw roadside vendors roasting sweet potatoes on small stoves filled with embers. We too do the same in our villages. We do not have firewood stoves so we do not get embers. Baking is the next best option.

All this writing about plantains and sweet potatoes cooking on embers and fanning the embers to keep the heat is making me very nostalgic and hungry too 😊.

Changalikodan – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Changalikodan

In the above photo rice is being cooked. After the rice is cooked the loges are fanned to remove the flame and plantains or sweet potatoes are cooked on the embers.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (# SOL- 2020)

My weekly Slice of Life are my letters to my Doddamma. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is 89 years old. She cannot hear properly if I telephone to talk to her. So, I have been writing letters to her since October 2017. I enjoy writing letters and she is happy to read them. They are only about the everyday moments in my life. Since last week I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma.

2-06-2020

Problems are increasing everywhere. What has happened in America brings home to us about the evils of inequality all over the world. Our country has become the 7thhighest infected country in the world. In our place, cases are increasing and lockdown is being lifted. We read in the papers that the borders of our capital are being sealed. Life will be terrible for those countless people who have lost their jobs. Locusts have destroyed vegetation all along their path of flight. Not only locusts, we human beings too are destroying so much in our planet. It was sad to read that those in charge of looking after the environment have been surreptitiously approving long pending ‘developmental’ projects inside protected areas of our country. Will people ever learn?

We have been getting rains from the 31st. But these rains are due to depression in the Arabian sea and a cyclone is to hit the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat to our northwest. Our monsoon season will start in a day or two as the south west monsoon has hit Kerala, to the south of us.  Nature has her own rules.

It feels there is no end to problems. In the midst of this we have to lead our everyday life.

I have been stitching a cover for our TV on cross stitch material. While stitching I listen to Sherlock Holmes on Audibles. These stories were written in a different time but they have not aged. They are as fascinating as ever. It is now 3.30 in the evening and it is raining heavily. The birds have taken shelter somewhere, otherwise at this time I hear them chattering loudly and exchanging news of the day 😊. Now I am hearing the sound of rain. That too is soothing in its way. We need these rains.

Last month I had stitched salwar kameez for myself. When we stitch our clothes, there is always enough material left to stitch something else. In the past few months I had been seeing ladies wearing kameez stitched by using different materials. I did this and now I have a kameez which I can wear with three different salwars 😊. It is satisfying to create something different.

On the 29th the gas in our cylinder finished. We have two cylinders. We fixed the regulator to the new one and I was horrified to see that gas was leaking. I called our gas agency and they said they would send a replacement soon. Our neighbour was kind enough to give a cylinder. Afternoon when we got our cylinder we asked the delivery man to give the new cylinder there. Meanwhile the defective cylinder was replaced. How I wish problems could be fixed so easily. But, they are not.

Life is going on, the ordinary and the extraordinary. 

https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/flood-of-approvals-by-wildlife-board-sets-the-stage-for-a-crisis-843791.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shalwar_kameez

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/cyclone-nisarga-path-tracker-landfall-rain…

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#SoCS May 30/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “spay/splay/spray.” Use one, use two, use ’em all, it’s up to you. Have fun!

A few days ago, my neighbour showed me her rose bushes, insects were eating the buds. She said they would have to spray some insecticide on them to keep the plants from dying. There are a variety of roses which we call country roses, they are very resilient and do not need to be sprayed with insecticides.

This reminds of our visit to my father’s maternal uncle’s home last year. They live in a hill station about six hours from our place. His son-in-law is an avid gardener. He grows a variety of vegetables. The pleasant weather helps. He does not use any pesticide but he says when he sees some pests bringing all his hard work to nothing, he feels like spraying some pesticide on them, but he does not. He said it is not surprising farmers spray pesticides on their fields, their survival depends on the survival of the plants.

I don’t think any of us will forget 2020. What a year it has been! Someone said regarding the virus BC and AC. I wondered what that was and she said Before Corona and After Corona ! And as if the virus was not enough we are reading about swarms of locusts flying across the northern parts of our country destroying all vegetation on the way. They have reached the south too. They have been sprayed on by pesticides and people are keeping vigil to deal with them. But they are following the wind favouring their flight.

Oh God ! What a year this has been. Wonder what will happen in the near future? Only time will tell. When I think about time, these words by Claudio Magris in Danube come to mind,

‘Events which occurred many years ago or decades ago we feel to be contemporary, while facts and feelings a month old seem infinitely distant and erased forever.’

https://indianexpress.com/article/india/locust-attack-tracker-india-rajasthan-punjab-uttar-pradesh-maharashtra-haryana-6431893/