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reflections

Everyday Moments – (#SOL- 2020)

27-07-2020

Apart from the coronavirus which has become so much a part of our lives that there is no one who does not speak about it at least once in a conversation, shake their heads and wonder when it will all end. We don’t watch the TV news at all because reading the newspaper feels more than enough. I like to talk to my relatives and friends, specially seniors, it is so much more personal than just exchanging WhatsApp messages. And specially in these times I make it a point to talk to at least four people in a week. We talk quite a bit and then end with the virus!! Here most people wear masks but there are some who don’t. We go for a walk every evening and some days, after returning from our walk, my neighbours and I sit to talk for some time.

My friend and I 🙂

Last week we had very little rain and just did not feel like monsoon season. That makes everyone anxious, but nothing is in our hands. We used to hear the drizzling of rain at night. But since Saturday it is raining again but not like in June and first half of this month. My husband likes to dry his clothes in the sun and when it starts raining suddenly, he rushes out. I feel too lazy for that 😊.

On the 23rd my husband’s cousin passed away in our village, she was only 48. She was not keeping good health for some time. These days the first question people ask is whether a person had Covid!

On the 26th evening Dr Krishna Rao who had been the dean of our medical college for 22 years passed away, he was 96 and in good health, mentally and physically till the end. He was loved and respected by his students and by all those who came into contact with him. There were many Deans after him but he was THE DEAN to all. He loved reading and was a member of our Book club. We all have wonderful memories of him. He will be missed by his near and dear ones.

Some days ago we came across a way of walking which is being recommended by many. It is to walk in the shape of eight. We do not need a lot of space. We are walking like that when it rains. We keep two chairs a little away from each other and walk for half an hour. It is nice and there is something different, I cannot say what it is, but it is good. We are learning something new everyday.

I finished the book, The Library at Night by Alberto Manguel. It is a fascinating book about the author’s library and about libraries in different parts of the world in different ages. I am listening to Tom Sawyer in Audibles 😊. The book is as nice now as  it was long back. Many books are like that.

On the 24th I sent a mail to my Doddamma, her daughter-in-law, Sujata will read it to her. I have attached many photos too.

And, life goes on.

Amarnath Yatra cancelled for this year due to coronavirus COVID … https://zeenews.india.com/india/amarnath-yatra-cancelled-for-this-year

https://www.practo.com/healthfeed/8-walking-a-simple-alternative-daily.

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#SoCS July 25/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “check/cheque/Czech.” Use one, use ’em all, use ’em any way you’d like. Have fun!

The word cheque brought to mind an incident which happened long back. My mother told me about it. In those days the finances of the family were usually looked after by the men. My father worked in the Indian railways and the salary was not very high and my mother used to say by the end of the month there was hardly any money in hand. She kept some rupees hidden away to be used in the last week of the month. We never knew shortage in any way and our needs too were not much. We lived in the campus and life was all about going to school, coming back, finishing homework and going out to play 😊.

In the seventies television first appeared on the scene. Two or three families had them and they were very kind enough to allow children and adults to gather in their houses on Sunday evenings to watch the movie on Door Darshan, the only TV channel then. We used to check the movie to be shown on Sunday evening, in the newspaper and if it was something that we wanted to see, we would go to their house. It was fun.

To come back to my mother, she told me she had never been to a bank in those days. One day my father told her to take a cheque, go to the bank and cash it. She was so scared that she asked her close friend to come with her. The friend too had never been to the bank. The two ladies went together and very anxiously asked one staff to help them. He was very kind and helped them to encash the cheque. Since then my mother had gone to the bank many times with my father but she was never very comfortable with it.

And I also remember her words when thinking about life. In those days she saved a little money which my father told her to keep aside for herself, it was a very small sum. To buy a sari, she had to save for many months. She would check the amount she had saved once in three months. Once she had the amount she needed, she would go to the shop with her friend to buy the sari. In 1979, a team of about five hundred people from Indian Railways were sent on deputation for three years to Nigeria. My parents had a wonderful time there. After returning from there my mother did not have to save money for months to buy a sari. She could buy one any time she wanted to. But she always said the joy that one sari gave after saving for months was very special. I think this holds good for most things in life.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)

Since Sunday we are having a break from the rains. It had been pouring and at some moments it was like the skies opening and water pouring down. Rivers are overflowing. One evening we went for a walk to the lake in our town. The water level had reached the brim and was overflowing. At one corner a canal has been made and water flows in it and flows down the hill side a little away.  Today too we went for a walk there. There is something very soothing to see so much water. The lake has many moods, it looks different at different times. We need the rains  but it is also adding the woes of people. There is flooding in some places, natural and people made. As if the coronavirus was not enough.

The number of people who are getting infected is rising everywhere. We were shocked to read that our village has become a containment zone as a family have covid. They live near my husband’s cousin’s place and that road has been sealed. It was one thing to read about increasing cases  in cities but quite another story to read about its spread in villages.

On the 16th was our grandson’s seventh birthday. How soon time flies. Our daughter and family live in Germany. They come to India during summer vacations. But this time they will not be coming. Our grandson was asking when they are coming to India to visit both the grandparents. He was disappointed that it was not possible this year. We will miss their visit. We talk to them almost everyday by WhatsApp video call. One of the many plus points of the internet 😊.

My doddamma is getting better, I asked my cousin’s wife whether I could write to her. She said I could, I will write to her more about our grandchildren and our daily activities. Yesterday we performed the monthly ritual connected with the last rites of my father-in-law. He passed away on march 24th.  My two neighbours and I meet and talk to each other for some time, wearing masks 😊. One of them misses going to her church every Sunday. She is seventy plus and very rarely goes outside her compound. Life must be very lonely for people staying alone. We read in the papers about young people dying by suicide. It is very sad. And there are others who overcome all difficulties and make a new life. I think a lot depends on our inherent nature.

“Everyone is a moon, and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.”
― 
Mark Twain

The bravehearts who stood the test of lockdown | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/the-bravehearts-who-stood…

Good old Doordarshan comes in handy for new-normal classes | … https://www.deccanherald.com/state/karnataka-districts/good-old…

https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/ragi-ladoo-recipe/

When the school comes home in Kalaburagi | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/when-the-school-comes-home-in…

Like a love long lost that came back | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/like-a-love-long-lost-that-came…

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reflections

#SoCS July 18/2020

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

The word ‘link’ immediately brings to mind all the links we use when we use the internet. I remember those days when I did not know how to open a link and then those earlier days when the internet was something strange and new. My cousin had internet connection in his house and he had take so many precautions to keep his computer and other accessories safe. And it all seemed such a headache. And now so much has changed. We see people walking about in this world and their heart and mind in another world, the world wide web !!  

The stream of consciousness links our thoughts from one topic to another and back and forth in space and time. The internet and the computer reminds me  of the sixties. We were in Secunderabad in Andhra Pradesh. My father was posted there, he worked in the Indian Railways.  He and some of his colleagues learnt how to work the computer. He enjoyed working with it. One day he took us to see it. The computers were huge, in a large room. There were cards punched with holes in them. It had been fascinating. Who would have thought the computer and the internet would become such an important part of our daily lives! And all those links linking us to so many areas of information. I remember my father telling that it was important for people to learn using the computer or they would become computer illiterates in a world where the computer would become a major influence in our lives.

From that my thoughts go to science fiction stories. I remember reading stories about computers and machines ruling the world. In those days it seemed just a story but now we are moving towards that world, what with artificial intelligence and computers becoming more and more intelligent  and people thinking that we were on the way towards development !! And the height of irony is that this development has been given a brake by a virus! And I wonder what will happen when the brake is released?

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)

15-07-2020

It is almost 8 in the night and I can hear the night sounds of nature outside. We hear them more during the rainy season. Early mornings we can hear the babblers, tree pies and bulbuls chattering away at top speed, the tree pies are the loudest. They come regularly to eat the chapati pieces we put out for them. The water level in many dams and reservoirs is increasing every day.

When I listen to them the corona virus seems far away but it is not, more and more people are getting infected. Our district borders are being sealed for the next two weeks. Things are becoming very serious in our state capital, Bangalore. I think people everywhere are not sure how to deal with this situation. Of course people are wearing masks but maintaining social distance is just not possible in our crowded cities. Along with health countless people are suffering due to lack of work and money. Government schools have not started this year. What fills me with wonder is the situation in America. We are reading about thousands of people getting infected every day. For so many here, America is a place where everything is the best!

Yesterday morning I met my children’s 2nd standard teacher in the bus. I had gone with my husband to the hospital. He had to have MRI done. For the past two months he had been feeling that something was not right. Fortunately, everything is fine. The teacher and I got talking, we were meeting after a long time. We have got used to talking through our masks 😊. She said most people are very anti-China. And why don’t we read anything about what is happening there. And we are having a lot of border problems with China. Unfortunately, so many Chinese goods are sold here, from the cheapest to the most expensive.

Whole heat flour bread

One morning I baked bread, it came out well. I followed the recipe from this site. The fragrance of bread being baked is wonderful 😊. It tasted fine with tomato soup. Whenever I make this soup, I remember my father. He loved making it.

https://www.tarladalal.com/article-basic-home-made-bread-recipes-79

In our garden we have the sump where we store corporation water, which comes every day. It holds 6000 litres of water. Today we got it cleaned. Udaya, who comes to clean the garden cleaned it. We all helped. We had cleaned it two years ago, usually we get it cleaned every year.

Yesterday we ate the last of our jackfruit. Unfortunately, one was completely spoilt from inside. It did not look spoilt from outside. We enjoyed dosas and curries with raw jackfruit. The ripe ones are very sweet.

From today, for the next two weeks the borders of our district are sealed. There are lockdowns in different places. I don’t know whether it will help. We have stopped thinking too much about the future and take each day as it comes. Life goes on.

We must be willing to let go of the life we have planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.                     E. M. Forster

( Unfortunately I am not able to upload photos )


Hampi varsity researcher finds rare Veeragallu | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/state/hampi-varsity-researcher-finds-rare…

Kerala ambulance driver’s meeting with family amid Covid-19 duty … https://www.deccanherald.com/national/south/kerala-ambulance-drivers…

They brought nature back into Karnataka’s Hubballi | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-statescan/they-brought..

In times of Covid-19 pandemic, youngsters help the less fortunate … https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-top-stories/in-times-of…

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reflections

#SoCS July 11/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “song.” First, find a picture–the closest one to you. Your prompt is the title and/or the lyrics of the first song that comes to mind when you look at the picture. Have fun!

Our monsoon season started in the first week of June and we have been getting good rains. When the rains start all the leaves in the garden look so green and fresh. During the summer they look a sorry sight, looking more brown than green due to the dust that settles on them.  Our garden has many hibiscus, jasmine and rose plants. The rose plants are what we call ‘country roses’. They are hardy plants and do not require the care the hybrid roses need.

After rainfall I love to look at all the flowers, rain drops on them look beautiful. The flowers themselves are so delicate and rain drops on them look more delicate. When I read today’s prompt I remembered the song, Raindrops on Roses from one of my favourite movies, Sound of Music. I love all the songs in the movie and it would be difficult to choose any one song as the best. We were in Delhi in the seventies. My father worked in the Indian Railways. He would take us to see movies which he felt we should not miss like Roman Holiday, My Fair Lady, Good Bye Mr Chips and many more. All of them were so good.

We left Delhi in 1979 and I went back only twice. We were there for a day in 2018 and we went to see the railway quarters in Connaught Place where we had lived and the nearby theatres where we had enjoyed all those movies. But New Delhi was not what it had been in the seventies. There was so much pollution. The park in Connaught place seemed like a dead place. We could not see the sun through the polluted sky. It was really tragic. I felt it was better not to go back to places that we once loved. There are so many changes and we too are not the same persons.

But fortunately, some things remain the same. They touch our hearts at all times.


Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

Cream-colored ponies and crisp apple strudels
Doorbells and sleigh bells and schnitzel with noodles
Wild geese that fly with the moon on their wings
These are a few of my favourite things

Girls in white dresses with blue satin sashes
Snowflakes that stay on my nose and eyelashes
Silver white winters that melt into springs
These are a few of my favourite things

When the dog bites, when the bee stings
When I’m feeling sad
I simply remember my favourite things
And then I don’t feel so bad

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens
Brown paper packages tied up with strings
These are a few of my favourite things

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reflections

A Photo a Week Challenge: Threes and Threes

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO (OR MORE) USING THE RULE OF THIRDS.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)

8-07-2020

Till today my weekly Slices of Life were the edited versions of my letters to my Doddamma. Doddamma literally means ‘elder mother’. She is my father’s elder brother’s wife and my favourite relative from childhood. She is 89, physically she is very weak. She cannot hear properly so I have been writing letters to her every week from October 2017. I was in Germany, in my daughter’s home from Novermber 2017 to January 2018. I used to write about my days in Germany and send mails to my cousin’s wife, Sujata, and she would read it to Doddamma. After returning home I continued sending mails Sujata. Then once she told me that Doddamma would enjoy if I posted my letters to her. She enjoyed the feel of paper in her hands and read the letters again and again. So, I started writing to her in paper and posted them every week. We both enjoyed ourselves. I would talk to her once in a while and she would tell me that I should continue writing to her even if she could not reply. But since April I have been sending mails to Sujata as we could not go to the post office  due to lock down.

Last week Sujata told me Doddamma is very weak and was not able to connect to my mail. Today I talked to my cousin. He said she is very weak. He gave the receiver her to her , she got my name right and the first two sentences were about us , then her mind wandered and she talked about many things but I could not understand all that she said. My cousin told me that she is very confused most of the time and she is very weak. Sadly, there is a fracture in her shoulder and she is in a lot of pain. But she sits in her chair and reads the newspaper. But I am not very sure whether she can relate to all that is happening in the world today. She is very lucky because she is surrounded with love and well looked after. I would have loved to go and be with her for some days but that is not possible. They live in Mumbai. My cousin said this is life and we have to face what comes our way. In fact that is what Doddamma has always believed in, accepting what comes our way. We can change some things and some we cannot. That is life.

 We have been getting good rains. One evening we went for a walk around our lake and it was happy to see the water level rising everyday. This is a rain water harvested lake. It helps to retain groundwater level.

The outside world, and our world too, is being controlled by corona virus. Yesterday we read in the papers that the virus is airborne too and wearing the mask is the best option. I read this very interesting article by a well known writer, Shashi Deshpande.

‘Write about what is happening to the world? I can’t’: Shashi …

https://scroll.in/article/965874/write-about-what-is-happening-to-the…

I enjoy making chutney powders of different flavours. One of my cousin enjoys it too. She is my father’s elder sister’s daughter. She is 75 and very interested in life. Last year she had given me a special chutney powder. The recipe had been given to her from her mother who got it from her mother. Two weeks ago I told her I had all the ingredients except white sesame. I told her Aravind had loved it. She asked for our postal address , prepared the chutney powder and sent it by post. We are enjoying it 😊.  I completed the cover for our TV, it looks nice. But I very rarely watch TV. We would have been watching Wimbledon if things were different !!

Every Sunday is going to be a curfew for the next two months, as of now. A hotelier in Mangalore served food to the destitute, He said he will give food every Sunday lockdown. We are now in the third position ☹. On the 5th evening we had our book club meeting but only Todd and I were present. We talked about books and about life in general. It was good.

The champaka flowers in our neighbour’s tree look beautiful and their fragrance fill our life with fragrance.  The green treetops look beautiful against the blue sky.

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OLWG #162

Take the prompts and, choose one of them, choose all of them or, choose none of them and incorporate them into a story or poem. You can wax poetically, or you can write fiction, non-fiction, stream of consciousness, or whatever else strikes your fancy in that moment of that day. If you want to apply a bit of pressure to yourself – limit your writing time to 25 or 30 minutes. You can tack on extra time to edit, if you want or you can have that time include editing. Your choice.

  1. the ancient gallery
  2. When life and dreams collide
  3. the busker’s patter

https://aooga.wordpress.com/

The busker stood near the walls of the ancient gallery. The surroundings inspired him to keep playing his instruments. His love for music found inspiration there. The ancient gallery had witnessed far too many people with their dreams and ambitions, to keep count. If the walls could speak, what a tale they would have been able to tell. So many had passed through the corridors of the beautiful, old place with dreams in their hearts but many a time dreams and life collide and not everyone in lucky enough for their dreams to survive the demands of daily life.

James, with music in his heart and soul and complete belief in himself, knew his dream and life would merge and become one.



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reflections

#SoCS July 4/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “toss.” Use it any way you’d like. Enjoy!

The word ‘toss’ immediately brought to mind one of the most popular movies enjoyed by most Indians. Sholay was released in in 1975. In the initial days it was not appreciated but as the days passed it became so popular and it ran for years in some theatres. Even now, after so many years it is as popular as it was. I remember we saw it in 1976 after our annual exams.  I had completed 9th std and it was showing in a theatre very near our house. It was a 70mm screen. It was an action movie and every character, even the minor ones, are still remembered. I have seen the movie many times over the years but only once in the theatre. Our movies have many songs but in Sholay the dialogues became and still are very popular. In those days we heard them in shops, in market places and even in schools and colleges.

There are two heroes in the movie, one is the strong, silent type and the other a fun loving extrovert. Both are petty thieves. The strong, silent hero always carried a coin in his pocket and whenever they faced a situation when they could not take a decision, he would toss the coin and their decision would be based on head or tails. The tossing of the coin plays a very important part in the movie.

I remember earlier we used to say that we could toss a coin to decide something but now it has been a long time. It is interesting how some words or actions just disappear from daily life and some prompt brings it back to our mind😊.

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

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/70_mm_film

( Photo from the internet)