Categories
Life reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020)

slice-of-life_individual

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. We are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.

28-04-2020

We have five more days of lockdown, the government has eased the lockdown in many ways but it is still strict in many of the containment zones. These are specially in big cities and the metros. I was talking to my cousin and she was saying not being able to go out is becoming extremely frustrating. Some others, who are very social, there are people in their house at all moments are finding the isolation very difficult.

The good and the bad is happening during this period. We are reading a lot about increase in domestic violence. Unfortunately, it has always been there but now people have been confined within four walls. There is no escape for the victims. It was sad to read in today’s papers about people suffering from heart attack or from stroke are hesitating to go to the hospital for treatment due to the fear of corona. They are suffering more because of this. On the other hand, in the state of Punjab drug abuse was very high. But the lock down has broken the chain in drug dealing. Alcohol consumption too has come down. But we cannot really say what will happen after May 3rd. Will they go back to their old ways?

Everywhere, youngsters have come together to help the elderly and others in distress. Young bikers are helping to supply food to the hungry. Others are helping to supply medicines to HIV patients. The call themselves HIV Warriors. Many are helping to feed stray dogs, cows, birds and other animals. A poor fisherwoman, Sharadakka, has spent her life savings to feed those who are poorer than her. She says, ‘I know what it is to be hungry’. A daily wage worker, Abdur Rehman, had dreamt of going to Mecca to perform Hajj. He had saved for his dream his whole life. But now he has spent all his savings to help the homeless and needy. He says, ‘his hajj has been done now’.  Shanta Norona, a tailor, who has no work now is stitching face masks and distributing them to  daily wage workers, free of cost. The list is endless. There is hope as long as such people are around us.

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To come to our everyday life, we are seeing dark rain clouds almost every evening but the wind is taking them and the rain elsewhere. We are getting a few drops only 😊. We have coconut trees in our garden. Every now and then dry fronds fall down with a crash. Some of our neighbours take them to use as fuel. Yesterday morning one fell on the electric wires, there was short circuit and no electricity for some time.  Fortunately, it was rectified within an hour.

I had stitched some masks but found they were a little too wide so altered them today morning. Usually when I am stitching I listen to lectures by a great Sanskrit scholar, Bannanje Govindacharya. I am listening to his lectures on Skanda Purana. It is a fascinating experience. I am now listening to Pied Piper by Nevil Shute in Audibles. I am enjoying listening to stories. My son has the entire Sherlock Holmes collection. That too will be a wonderful experience.

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( Our grandson told my son that he found his shadow very funny 🙂 )

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( Our friend with the stick which has no shadow)

On the 25th was Zero Shadow Day in our town. At 12.28 Pm the sun is right above us. This happens twice a year but this is the first time I had read about it. I just don’t remember reading about it in the past. Maybe the coronavirus in making us take note of many things which we did not earlier 😊. There is minimal or no shadow at that moment which is also called the Zenith.

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I would like to end on a very nice note. I keep a mud pot filled with water in our garden for the birds. The weather is very hot now. One afternoon I saw a bulbul sitting on the edge of the pot. The water was not at the brim and the little bird was hesitating to bend and take a sip. It flew away. I went out immediately and filled the pot to the brim. After a little while the bird came back, took a sip and flew away.

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

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

https://newsd.in/zero-shadow-days-2020-date-and-time-why-you-cannot-see-your-shadow-in-mangaluru-udupi/

Faith is the bird that feels the light when the dawn is still dark.

Rabindranath Tagore

 

 

Categories
Life Song of the Road

Flower of the Day challenge

This challenge is all about bringing a little beauty and color into our daily lives.

fotd-banner

This is a wild flower growing in our front yard 🙂

24th (2)

Categories
Life reflections

#SoCS April 25/2020

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “val.” Find a word that starts with “val” or if you’re not doing the A to Z Challenge, find a word that just has “val” in it, and use that word any way you’d like. Enjoy!

When I read this prompt the  words that came to mind were valour and value.

We are living in a different world now. But in many ways what is now happening has always happened before. I am reading Pied Piper by Nevil Shute. Actually, I am listening to in Audibles. The narrator is very good. The story is set during World War 2. The restrictions faced by people then are what we are facing now. The soldiers knew who their enemies were. I feel very sad when I read about all the wars that happened through the ages. People fought and killed each other, so many innocent people killed. Now, we know our enemy but we cannot see it. We don’t really know where it and when it will attack. We have to be careful but for how long can we continue to be careful?

Doctors  and health care workers everywhere are facing every day with valour to save lives. They must be scared and doctors have been infected. The other day we read in the newspapers about a doctor in the neighbouring state. He got infected and passed away. The tragic part was people of the town did not allow him to be buried in that town. They were scared that the virus would spread from his body. His family and colleagues appealed to the people to be reasonable but in vain. They became violent too and the  family had to bury the doctor elsewhere late in the night. The doctor died serving his patients and what value did all his selfless work have when he was not allowed to be buried with dignity? It is really very sad.

Why do people behave the way they do? Don’t they think?  Will their conscience ever prick them?

https://www.thenewsminute.com/article/how-dr-simon-hercules-who-died-covid-19-chennai-was-denied-dignity-death-122947

Categories
Life reflections

Everyday Moments- ( #SOL- 2020) 

slice-of-life_individual

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 88 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. We are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.

20-04-2020

I am not writing about the pandemic in my letters to my doddamma but only about what is happening in our lives. In spite of being indoors all the time, I find there is plenty to write😊.

Today we read in the papers that asymptomatic conditions in people is worrying the medical world here. People are infected but they do not have any of the symptoms!! And the virus is having different effects on different people, there is no hard and fast rule about how people will react. Just thinking of countless people suffering all over the world makes us question so many things. It is not only the poor who are suffering, there are so many suffering mentally. Today we read about a man killing his differently abled son who was not ready to wear a mask. That man’s wife has been bedridden for years. He was not well off. He surrendered to the police. I wonder what will happen to his wife. Then we read about politicians playing politics while distributing food to the poor. One wonders about such people !  All over the world there are such politicians. A pizza delivery boy did not know he had the virus and when he was tested positive, more than seventy two families went into quarantine. The list goes on.

But fortunately, there are so many silver linings in today’s world. They give us hope.

Helpusgreen is an association that is making incense sticks from old flowers in temples and mosques. They are asking farmers who are growing flowers not to destroy them due to lack of market but dry and store them. They will be bought later.

The government has arranged for trucks for the farmers to transport their produce. And there are so many people everywhere who are helping the needy and other animals in distress. One person said, ‘what is the point of him being healthy if he cannot go out and help those in distress.’ And life goes on.

Coming back to everyday life, I saw tree pies coming in the afternoons to eat the pieces of chapati. They are coming after a long time. A peasant crow keeps hopping about in our garden.

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On Saturday evening we had a book club meeting on Zoom. We were seeing other after quite some time. We enjoyed ourselves. Our neighbour gave us ripe jackfruit from her garden. They were very sweet. Another neighbour gave us wild mangoes. This season we are not seeing many mangoes. These cannot be sliced but have to be sucked. I like to make rasam with them. I love this dish.

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I completed stitching the salwar kameez for myself. I had started it a few weeks ago. I got the material from Amritsar. I love stitching my clothes. There is something so satisfying about creating something. The weather has become very hot. The room where I have kept my machine faces west. These days I can stitch only in the mornings. In the afternoons there is sunlight streaming into the room and it becomes too hot for comfort.

We are waiting for the monsoons. Last year it started in July, a month late. Then we thought nothing could be worse than delayed rain and this year showed us how wrong we were in our thinking ☹.

We are watering our plants on alternate days and walking every day in our garden. These everyday moments give us hope.

Birds chirping in the trees:  the happy sound of freedom.

          ~Terri Guillemets, “Cageless,” 1994

https://helpusgreen.com

https://www.betterbutter.in/recipe/104197/ripe-wild-mangoes-rasam/

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( wild flowers in our yard )

Categories
Life reflections

#SoCS April 18/2020

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Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “practice/practise.” Use it any way you’d like. Have fun!

My son loves to listen to music. His favourite is Hindustani classical music. He can identify most of the ragas, he and my husband can spend hours listening to classical music. When our children were small we asked them if they wanted to join music class. They said yes and went to the classes regularly. They were supposed to practice at home But there never seemed to be any time 😊, what with school in the mornings and playing with friends in the evening. We were living in our university campus, their home friends and school friends were the same and that bond has continued over the years in spite of living far away from each other.

I remember I had made a sort of time table and some time was for practising. But slowly over a few months both felt they did not want to continue with the classes. We did not force them. Learning anything should not be a punishment. Years passed, both our children enjoyed listening to music. Many years ago, my son told me that we should have forced him to continue the classes and seen to it that they had practised everyday!!

I had then told him it was never too late to learn anything, he could still join music classes 😊. He never joined any class but loves to listen to music.

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( My father-in-law loved listening to Carnatic Classical music)

Categories
Life reflections Song of the Road

A Photo a Week challenge : Peaceful Place

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT BRING YOU PEACE.

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Our small town is located on a hill. One end of this hill is called EndPoint. For me this is a very peaceful place. We can see the Arabian sea in the distance, the river Swarna flowing towards the sea. There is peace and quiet here. We used to go there at least four times a week for our evening walk.  Waiting to go there 🙂

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Walking around the lake in our place is another favourite place. Looking at the sun set on the lake and feeling the fresh breeze brings peace to the mind.

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Venugopala temple and the park in front of it is another peaceful place in our town.

“Peace comes from within.  Do not seek it without.”
 Gautama  Buddha

Categories
Life reflections

Everyday Moments ( #SOL- 2020)

slice-of-life_individual

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 88 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. We are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.

14-04-2020

Lock down has been extended till the 30th. In many parts of the country there is a seal down. Many wards in the capital of our state, Bangalore, have been sealed down. The Government has said all necessities will be supplied to the door steps but people are not very convinced. In today’s newspaper we were horrified to read that a group of people in a place in Punjab chopped off a hand of the policeman in anger because he was trying to enforce lockdown rules. Thankfully he was rushed to the hospital where the severed part was joined after a six hour surgery. We are praying that he will recover.

Lockdown is having so many different kinds of effects on people.

We read about local bodies feeding stray animals and birds. Wives of army-men are cooking meals and stitching face-masks for the needy. A cop rode 420 kms to supply medicines to a family. Agricultural scientists are helping farmers to sell their produce. Farmers everywhere were in great difficulty. It is the same all over the world . We read about the plight of the growers of tulips in Netherlands. There is no market for the flowers. Then we read about the Knitwear industry in Tiruppur along with hundred small industries have changed with changes happening. They have started producing gloves, face masks and other PPE. We saw a video in which a leading cardiologist was appealing to people not to use surgical masks. He gave the reasons and asked people to stitch masks or get them stitched. They can be washed and reused.  I am stitching face-masks for us and am planning to stitch more and give them away to whoever needs them. It was good to read about ‘corona warriors’, they are a group of people fighting against fake news and helping people. There is so much goodness happening everywhere in spite of the corona virus.

Coming back to our everyday life, life is going on according to the new norm. Sometimes the days seem to pass very slowly and at other times it is flying. My neighbour had given raw mangoes. I prepared a spicy chutney with them.

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On Sunday morning I got up early, as usual. Did not feel like doing yoga. As soon as there was enough light I swept the front and back yard. There are a lot of dry leaves falling every day. I also plucked two papayas.  Sunday evening suddenly dark clouds appeared, we heard thunder and lightening and waited for the rains but as an anti-climax only a few drops fell 😊.

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Today is my cousin’s 70th birthday. His daughter has been an organising an online party on Zoom for quite some days. More than twenty of us had recorded our wishes and memories and sent them to her. She and her husband compiled them. Today we all, from different parts of the world met and celebrated the occasion. My cousin and his wife were so pleased, they never expected anything like this. We all loved the occasion and we will never forget it. For some time we all lived in different world and after the party we all came back to earth 😊.

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( my cousin so happy )

https://www.deccanherald.com/national/south/tamil-nadus-tiruppur-knits-its-way-out-of-crises-with-coronavirus-help-824492.html

We can do no great things, only small things with great love. ~Mother Teresa

Categories
Life reflections

#SoCS April 11/2020

socs-badge-2019-2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “joint.” Use it as a noun, an adjective, or a verb–use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

The word ‘joint’ reminds me of the joint family system which had prevailed in our country. In a joint family, the parents, their sons and their families, all lived together under one roof. I remember my paternal grandfather writing about his childhood in the early years of the 20th century, as part of a joint family. His parents , uncles, wives children all lived together in one house in their village. Work was distributed among the members. Women usually were immersed in house work from morning to night. Men worked in the fields or the areca garden. Children grew up amidst all this. They helped their elders, went to the village school and enjoyed a great deal of freedom. He also writes how the property was divided among the three brothers in the first decade of the 20th century.

But the joint family system started really breaking in the 1970s and by the eighties there were very few joint families, at least in our community. These days parents and one son or daughter and family may live together but siblings and families do not live together under one roof.  But as I wrote the last sentence, I just remembered there is a joint family in our neighbourhood. Parents, their two sons and families are living together under one roof. But the elder son is planning to get a house constructed on their land next to their house in the coming year.

My husband grew up in a joint family. In 1971 my father-in-law got a house constructed and shifted there with his family. There were many plus points in a joint family but the individual interests were submerged somewhere. The interests of the whole family was given more importance. The head of the family had to be an able leader to guide the whole family. He had to inspire respect and a little fear too. But when individuals of the family began asserting their freedom and did not want to bow to any one person, the joint family started slowly becoming a part of history.

 

Categories
Life reflections

A Photo a Week Challenge : Glass

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO THAT FEATURES GLASS OF ANY KIND.

Life has turned upside down, Nancy and will never be the same again. Take care. Stay healthy and safe, you and your family.

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This glass bowl was gifted to my husband from some of his old students who had come together  for a class reunion some years ago.

Categories
Life reflections

Everyday moments – # SOL 2020

Slice of Life – #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 88 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. We are at home and cannot go to the post office to post the letters.

7-04-2020

Life has changed so much. In January we had been on a vacation to Amritsar in Punjab. We had a wonderful time and we on the last day we left Amritsar in the morning and reached our place in the evening. And now we have not stepped outside our gate since the 24th. The new normal 😊.  A cousin said yesterday that earlier she used to leave home only on some occasions but never felt that she was home-bound. But now she is feeling home-bound because she is not allowed to go out.

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( We call this flower ‘sada pushpa’ or nitya pushpa)

It is heartening to see people in our town under the leadership of a charitable trust helping the needy, the homeless and migrant workers. We are donating to them and to another group in Bangalore. They send updates and photos everyday. All over the country people are helping others who are need. For the migrant workers the fear of hunger is more real than the fear of the virus. Living in the cities without work is making them go back home to their villages. The government is trying in all possible ways to help them. Life without safety and security must be very difficult. It will be just survival from one day to the next.

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Somehow all that we are doing seems trivial but life goes on and we have to live each day as it comes. From 2nd to 6th I participated in a session hosted by Mr L Subramani by Zoom. I heard about this only recently. We are learning so many things about the world and about ourselves in these times. Mr Subramani told us about how to use story telling to build a strong personal narrative. It was interesting. He blogs in WordPress.

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I am listening to lectures by the great Sanskrit scholar, Bannanje Govindacharya on Skanda Purana. I listen to him while stitching my sari blouse and salvar kameez.  I had got the material from Amritsar. I used to read so many books to my son as he was growing up. I did not want him to miss out the world of books. In Amritsar we purchased a book about Guru Nanak, the founder of Sikhism, Walking with Nanak by Haroon Khalid. I am reading it to him and it is very good. We are both enjoying the book. One of our neighbor is a doctor. He sings beautifully and every day he is recording a song and forwarding to all his friends. It is a pleasure to listen to him.

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The weather has been very hot for many days. Today evening we saw dark clouds gathering and hoped it would rain. And it did. It rained from 5.30 to 7.30. There was thunder and lightning too. We sat back and enjoyed the sound of rain and thunder and for a while all thought of the coronavirus and the suffering of people took a backseat.

Nothing in life is to be feared, it is only to be understood. Now is the time to understand more, so that we may fear less.- Marie Curie

https://grapplingwithrp.wordpress.com/2020/03/30/lockdown-special-im-sharing-how-to-build-a-personal-narrative-to-impact-your-audience/?

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

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

Catharanthus roseus – Wikipedia

 

A blogging friend , Kiki Suarez from Mexico sent me this link. It is very interesting.  It is as if we are writing a daily journal. Cornell University is collecting people’s stories about what it is like to live in the age of Covid-19. If you’re curious, or think you might like to participate, go to

https://www.covid-stories.com

Home | Covid Stories
LET’S WRITE IT TOGETHER . The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) is an historic event of unparalleled proportions that will have direct and indirect impact on nearly every life around the globe.
http://www.covid-stories.com
.
You can contribute without having your name or identifying information included in any publication that results. Please feel free to share the link with anyone who might be interested.