Perspective

We were sitting in the waiting room at the hospital. We got talking. She had come from a different part of our state. Her brother’s wife was being operated on. They had been there for nearly two weeks. She appeared to belong to a lower-income group. She told me that they had spent a lot of money. They were praying that everything would be fine. She said, “Being in the hospital, looking at people with so many health problems, made her feel that their problem was not so bad.” I did not meet her later. I just hope her sister-in-law has recovered completely. Her words impressed me. So much in life depends on our perspective, how we face life. We can be positive or we can be negative.

“We can complain because rose bushes have thorns,

or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.”  – Abraham Lincoln

The word perspective brings to mind events that have been taking place over the last few weeks. Donald Trump is the President of USA. Earlier it was all about his swearing-in ceremony, his tweets, his arrogance of wealth and power. We saw so many protests against him. That is one perspective, one side of the coin. There is another side: the darker one. There are people who believe that he will change America for the better. They have voted him to power. They look at him from a different angle. The other day with a simple sleight of hand he changed the lives of so many.  People from all over the world live in America. Many of them are citizens of that country. It is inconceivable as to how people who consider a land as their home can be banned from setting foot on it. Is this really a solution to the problems highlighted by Trump and his like? It is reported in the papers that the Brooklyn judge’s ruling has only blocked part of the president’s action. Those who have been detained in the international airports of America cannot be deported; but they cannot enter. Is pre-2nd World War and World War 2 history going to repeat itself? Do we never learn from our mistakes? People are protesting all over the country and elsewhere. But what is frightening is that there are people who  support him. What will happen to the voices of ordinary people?

Here too, there are people who think that Nathuram Godse a hero. They believe that he did the right thing in assassinating Mahatma Gandhi. Mahatma Gandhi supported Muslims too. This in their eyes was a crime so he had to be killed. Do we never learn from history? In these days of the internet it is said the world has become a smaller place. But unfortunately, smaller the world, the more divided it is becoming in the name of religion.

So much has been happening since the beginning of this year. We had a lot of trouble in the name of Jallikattu in our neighbouring state. It is a bull-taming contest. It has been banned by the Supreme Court of India. But people involved in the sport protested that it was an integral part of their tradition and that they had the right to practice it. There are cockfights and another sport similar to Jallikattu called Horihabba in our state. I wonder what those animals feel about such ‘human’ traditions. They are the ones who are being tortured and killed in the name of sport.  But who asks them? Violence for the love of violence defines human nature.

“Humans dominate

Animals who cannot speak

In the name of sport.”

img_20161114_091914

slice-of-life_individual

 

Advertisements

Spring Back ( Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

A few months ago the land behind our home had been cleared of all vegetation. This land belongs to builders. The trees have been razed to the ground many times in the last few years. But these builders have not yet started building anything. It is the same story everywhere. In the name of development destruction is taking place. Yesterday, while returning home I was glad to see plants growing again on that slope of hill. In spite of being destroyed they are coming back.

“Surviving all odds

Is Nature’s  strength and power.

People can tame her.

But cannot destroy Nature,

In a second Nature can.”

This reminded me of one of my friends. She was married at a young age. Her husband turned out to be an alcoholic. He used to beat her too. But her resilience helped her to overcome the problems that kept coming her way. She sent her children to school. They are earning members of the family. She works in the Housekeeping department of a medical institution. She built a house for herself. She achieved all this without the help of her husband. She believes in facing whatever comes her way with a positive attitude. It is very easy to face problems if we have wealth and security in life. Fulfilling our dreams without them takes courage and is really an achievement. There are people who keep moaning about all the troubles they are facing in life. Many a time those troubles are of their mind. But, never have I heard my friend do that. Such people give out positive vibrations.

img_20170112_100245

Spring Back ( Slice of Life)

 

The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Graceful

For this week’s challenge, share something that says “graceful” to you: from a couple dancing a smooth tango or a skyscraper soaring with ease above the skyline, to a leaf that dropped just so atop a moss-covered rock. You can focus on people, animals, architecture, or objects — or go for an abstract shot where the composition itself channels a fluid, streamlined essence.

‘Graceful’ has many meanings, some of it are – charming, appealing, natural, lovely, beautiful and so on. The first thought that came to mind when I read the word was the ‘moon’. For me the moon is graceful, there is a serene beauty to it.

“Quiet and serene

Restful to the eye and heart

That defines graceful.”

img_20170113_184122

Flowers are so graceful, Nature at her best.

img_20161230_175910

So many are graceful 🙂 , my mother and daughter.

img_20161029_192953

The Daily Post Photo Challenge : Graceful

 

 

The small store (Slice of Life)

slice-of-life_individual

The small store; for our grocery, vegetables, fruits. Similar small shops for clothes or for shoes or for books and so many other things. They have  been an integral part of our life for so many years. Ours is a small place and we have been buying whatever we need from the same shops, across the counter. The shopkeeper and the helpers know us and we know them. They have seen us when we were just two of us and when our children were small and then as they grew up. Over the years we have stopped to talk with them while waiting for them to give us what we wanted. We have time to exchange our opinions about so many things- mainly the politicians and the state of the country !

But,changes are taking place, so many new shopping complexes have come up, we tried them once but went back to our good old store. The personal relationship to which we were used to, was missing. Once, I read a story about how with the coming of supermarkets, the small stores have to close down. No doubt, there are many advantages about a super market, we get everything we want under one roof. But still I wouldn’t want these small stores to close down, something would be lost.

The small store (Slice of Life)

The Daily Post Discover challenge : Transcript

For this week’s challenge, we ask that you, too, take something ephemeral and non-digital and bring it to your blog for all of us to enjoy and reflect on. Of course, not all of us have access to a collection of century-old journals. So let’s define “transcribing” as broadly as possible: you could share an old photo from your childhood album, or snap a photo of a handwritten note from your best friend when you were 11. Record yourself singing a tune that hasn’t made it to iTunes, draw a sketch of your favorite room in your grandparents’ house, or simply write down a memorable conversation that would otherwise be lost to time.

ajjas-letters

Letter writing has become a thing of the past. Long back I used to write letters and make greeting cards for the occasion and post them to my friends and relatives. But now it is WhatsApp or emails or the mobile. Times change and we have to change with the times. But, I write one letter every year and, that is to  my Professor from my college days. More than fifteen years ago I went back to my college from where I had graduated in 1982. My favourite Sir was still teaching then. I was happy when he recognized me. We, students, remember our teachers but teachers have thousands of students. I was pleased when he remembered  me. The end of every year I write a long letter to him and he replies. And this letter is because he does not have a mobile phone and is not interested in the computer and the internet!

While writing the letter, memories of my paternal grandfather come to mind .He was very dear to us. He used to write to us regularly when he was away from us and we always replied back. Sometimes when we made mistakes in the language or the spellings, he would tell us about it in the next letter ,he had been a teacher all his life. It really helped us. I have still got some of his letters and a Scrap Book and his pen 🙂

My grandfather lived with us and with my father’s elder brother and family. When the Olympics take place I remember him. I was in primary school during the Munich Olympics in 1972. Actually I do not remember anything about those games but what I do remember is the time I spent with my grandfather. We had taken a note book and every day after my returning from school we stuck in it the paper clippings of all the different events taking place at Munich. He used to cut and keep them ready .I still have that note book with me. 🙂

He was a teacher of English and Maths, he had been the HeadMaster of a Government High School in a small town in Karnataka, till his retirement. He then stayed with his two
sons. My grandmother had passed away in 1943. He passed away in 1980 but our memories of him are as fresh as ever.

The Daily Post Discover challenge : Transcript

TIME

We are in the year 2017. Seventeen years have passed since we stepped into the 21st century. It had seemed as if we were stepping into a different world because we were moving into a new millennium. Life in the new ‘era’ was not all that different, but different enough to make it interesting. Ups and downs, the good, the bad and the ugly are a part of life. Human nature does not really change.

2016 brought to mind the year 1916, a hundred years ago. My grandparents got married that year. My grandfather has written about his life in two notebooks. That was a different world. He writes  about the journey made by him, his parents and relatives to the bride’s place. They went by bullock carts and traveled only at night. It took them four days to reach their destination, about 87 kilometers away from home. In December last year, our daughter, son-in-law and grandson traveled across continents, to Germany, in less than fifteen hours. My grandparents are no more; their children are no more ; their grandchildren and great-grandchildren are living their lives. How things have changed in the last hundred years!

However, some things have not changed and will never change : the ability to be truly evil and the casual way of being cruel to those who can be dominated. It truly hurt to read about a ten- year-old suicide bomber. Human life has little value. I am reading The Gene : An Intimate History by Siddhartha Mukherjee. It is a fascinating book. One of the chapters is called ‘Lives Unworthy of Living’. It is about the connection between genetics, heredity and the Holocaust. It is difficult to conceive of how the Nazis got away with all the horrific things they did, but they did. That is the tragedy of human life. I was reminded of the book, The Source by James Michener. This book is about Judaism over the ages.  The book covers thousands of years, and we travel along with the characters through generations.

Time brings to mind the idea of infinity. Time in its infinity is behind us, and infinity is ahead of us. I wonder what changes will happen. But then, we cannot predict the near future. How then can we say anything about the far, far future? Of course, science fiction writers have taken us to the distant past and far into the future. According to what they have written, life is very different but so same too. It is humbling to think that in this long stretch from infinity to infinity we are somewhere and our existence like a grain of sand. That seems so very unimportant, but it is not so to us who are living this life.

Our Gita tells us a lot about Time.  Shloka 17 of Chapter 8 says, “The whole of Reality includes Time and Eternity. Time is where evolution goes on, activities go on, processes go on, beyond which is the One absolutely imperishable, changeless Reality. We have got both Time and Eternity as Reality; time is one aspect and eternity is another aspect” ( From Swami Ranganathananda’s commentary on The Gita ).

time

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Old and New

This week the topic is Old and New.  You can have old and new objects in the same photo.  Or you can have at least one photo of a very old item and one photo of a very new item in your photo.  What I am looking for is great contrast.  Use your imagination if you want for this theme.  The thing is to have a lot of fun with this challenge.

My Father-in-law is 91 , he is sitting on an old Bullet bike and next to him is his cousin’s grandson sitting on a new Bullet bike 🙂

img_20160305_181416862

A kitchen with a gas stove, used for cooking. Preparations were going on to make Jackfruit Dosa

img_20160619_194959

The old stove using firewood is also used . Jackfruit Dosa 🙂

img_20160619_194934

The Yellow sari is my daughter’s wedding sari (2011). The blue sari is my mother’s wedding sari ( 1959 )

img_20170112_101042

The ear studs on the left were my grandmother’s. They are more than 80 years old. She passed away in 1943, my father was 12. When my parents got married in 1959, my grandfather gave them to my mother. She wore them for more than 40 years and gave them to me. I have been wearing them since. They are uncut rubies set in gold.

The earrings on the right are my daughter’s. She got them in 2011. They are not gold.

img_20170112_101355

The water jug on the left is a silver one. It was presented to my paternal grandfather when he retired in 1950, from the school where he had been a teacher and Headmaster for more than three decades. It was given by the staff of the school. On the right is my steel jug.

img_20170112_101624

The lamp on the right side is more than seventy years old. It had been used in my husband’s ancestral home in those days when there was no electricity. We light the lamp on the left every evening and it is lit till we retire for the day. It is 12 years old.

img_20170112_112220

cees-fun-foto-challenge

Cee’s Fun Foto Challenge: Old and New