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SoCS Aug. 29/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “more than a hundred.” Write your post inspired by something you have more than a hundred of in your home right now. Enjoy!

More than hundred’ years is a long time and pictures of trees, houses, books, people and so much more comes to mind. I am now listening to the novels written by Mark Twain and they were written more than hundred years ago and adventures of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn still make us smile.

Hundred years is a long time and I think of what my grandfather had written about his wedding in 1916. He has written about how, he his parents and other relatives travelled in bullock carts to the bride’s home about seventy miles. They travelled only by night and it took them four days to reach their destination. I can picture the bullock carts moving on, with lanterns to show the way. It seems a fascinating journey. So much has changed in hundred years and so much is still the same.

In those days there were more trees than there are now. Many of them more than hundred years old. Unfortunately, we do not think twice before cutting them down in the name of development. And when I think about old trees being cut down, I remember two old and beautiful trees in the yard of a temple in a small place called Kanthavara. These trees are hundreds of years old, their trunks are very wide and their branches reach out to the sky. The temple priest had told us that flowers are in bloom throughout the year. I am so glad that the trees are in the temple yard, they will never be cut down.

Old houses bring to mind the beautiful house where my father’s maternal uncle had lived. His family still lives there. My father loved his uncle and always went there to meet him. This house is more than hundred years old, we had been there last June for a few days. During childhood we always went there for a few days during summer vacations. We came to our maternal grandparents’ home for summer vacations and we used to visit many of our relatives. And one of the highlights of those days was our stay in this beautiful old house. My father’s cousin is of my age and we used to have a great time together. Some memories are so precious.

I would like to end by mentioning an old lady who is more than hundred years. I have not seen her for some time but from the moment I met her I felt she was a kindred spirit. And the words ‘kindred spirit’ takes me immediately to Anne of the Green Gables written by L M Montgomery, more than hundred years ago. Anne was always happy to meet kindred spirits. And I too like it 😊.

“Kindred spirits are not so scarce as I used to think. It’s splendid to find out there are so many of them in the world.”
― 
L.M. Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables

Magnolia champaca – Wikipedia

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

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reflections

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 320 Day&Flaw

Flawed human beings

Ruled by coronavirus

Days pass into months.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020)

26-08-2020

We are having a little rest from the rains for the past three days. There have been occasional rains but in general they have been sunny days. On the 24th evening we went for a walk around the lake. Dark clouds were playing hide and seek with the sun. Clouds are fascinating and they take on so many different shapes. There was a slight breeze and the reflection of the clouds in the water seemed to be dancing. There are seats by the side of the walking track and when we see an empty one, we rush there. Actually, earlier there never were empty seats but now there are. Most people who come for a walk, wearing their masks of course want to finish their evening walk and go back home. We saw a group of youths not wearing masks at all and it seemed strange because we have become so used to seeing most people wearing masks. The other evening, we met a senior doctor who does not wear a mask. I asked him why he is not wearing one. We know him for decades. He said there is no point in wearing one while outdoors! It is ok if we do not meet anyone and if we do, we should be careful. Anyway, each to their own.

It was shocking to read in the paper about police tortures. That is a different world. It is difficult to understand how people can cause pain to others. I remembered the scenes in Prince and the Pauper by Mark Twain. In those days too prisoners were tortured mercilessly and it is happening now too. Some things never change. It is tragic.

On the 22nd Ganesha Chaturthi was celebrated all over our country. Lord Ganesha is loved and worshipped by most people in our country. People offer pujas in their homes and in communities too. But this year the celebrations have been very subdued affairs. We went round our town and I was feeling very sad to see no celebrations at all. Life has changed so much. I made ‘panchakajjaya’, it is a sweet powder made during festivals. My friend told this recipe. We liked the taste very much. 

I am reading The Difficulty of being good by Gurcharan Das. It is a very interesting book.  Books take us to a different world and it is good to be there for some time 😊

“We lose ourselves in books. We find ourselves there too.”  ― Anonymous

Chickpea panchakajjaya (Chanedali panchakajjaya) – …

www.konkanifoodrecipes.com/recipes/chickpea-panchakajjaya-chanedali

No takers for large size Ganesha idols this year | Deccan Herald

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/karnataka-districts/no-takers-for..

Hundreds of Police Killings in India, but No Mass Protests – The …

The Difficulty of Being Good | Gurcharan Das

gurcharandas.org/the-difficulty-being-good

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reflections

#SoCS Aug. 22/2020

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

I am listening to The Complete Novels of Mark Twain in Audibles. I had read his books long back and enjoyed them. Listening to them is a wonderful experience. The word brush brought to mind the scene from The Adventures of Tom Sawyer. The scene where he has to white wash the wall is very popular. His aunt tells him that he has to paint a wall as a punishment. Tom sits with his brush and paint thinking of ways to not paint. It was fun to read how he made many boys take the brush and paint the wall. They gave him their treasures in exchange for being allowed to paint. The wall got three coatings by the end of the day 😊. I wonder if Mark Twain thought that scene would still bring a smile after more than 150 years.

Our daughter has always loved to paint. And she has passed on her love to her son. The other day he showed us the bottle he was painting using acrylic paints. She sent a photo of him holding a brush and looking at the bottle and of course, we as grandparents thought it just too wonderful for words😊.

As I was writing that, my thoughts went to our brush with law in Sofia, Bulgaria. We were there in 2012. We had gone to see the beautiful Boyona church. We bought tickets for the tram to return to our hotel, at the other end of the city. We did not know that we had to punch the tickets in a punching machine kept to one side. An inspector climbed in, checking the tickets of all the passengers. She was very angry with us and thought we were cheating. We later learnt people buy these tickets in bulk and punch them as and when the commute. We kept saying in sign language that we had bought the tickets at the station but did not know that we had to punch them. The tall man sitting behind us started supporting us , another lady joined him. But the inspector was adamant that we should pay the fine. We were ready to do that. Then that man asked the lady to punch two tickets, he took our unpunched ones and gave it to her. He gave the punched tickets to the inspector. She said something, I do not know what, it was in their own language, and left us to ourselves. The man got down before we could thank him. But we were able to thank the lady.  Those people will always be a part of our lives. We thanked God that the inspector came when she did because if she had come towards the end of our journey we would have to pay a fine. For the rest of our stay we diligently punched the ticket when we went in a tram 😊. Sofia is a beautiful place.

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

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reflections

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 319 Trip &Whip

Hands that hold the whip

Believe power is all theirs.

Trips and falls do good.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020)

18-08-2020

The rain today has been acting in a different way. There have been periods of sun shining down and then dark clouds gathering and a heavy downpour. It has been going on like that the whole day. In the evening I went to talk to my neighbour, Juliet. Once a week, another neighbour, Rekha and I sit in the open veranda in Juliet’s house and talk. Juliet said such a weather causes many health problems as if the coronavirus was not enough. She was feeling very sad about not being able to go anywhere freely. She is 75 and her children are abroad. A girl lives with her. There are so many lonely people all over the world. It is really very sad.

On the 15th there was quite a drama in her house. Afternoon she called me to tell there was a snake inside her house! We were wondering what to do. Fortunately another neighbour came and was able to make the snake come out, it was a small cobra ! We were all standing and watching when another neighbour came by on his bike. He stopped and went in. Both tried to catch the cobra in a bag but it slithered into a hole beneath the stairs. Everyone was of the opinion that it would not come out as it must be very scared. Today Juliet told me that she had asked many to cover the hole with cement but no one agreed to do this till it was sure the snake was not there. People here fear and worship snakes.

Last week we went to our town centre after quite a long time. On the way we gave some books to a cousin. There was some shopping too. We used to there every week and to the temples too but so much has changed. On the 22nd is Ganesha Chaturthi. People all across the length and breadth of our country celebrate this festival but this year it is going to a very restricted celebration. But nothing can be done.

We had started a book club in 2009 and we used to meet once a month. It was fun but now we have not met for quite some time. We once had a zoom meeting. But somehow it was not repeated. But I am enjoying the Book club meetings organized by Todd Tyrtle. I have been following his blog for quite some time. We met on the 15th evening. It was a wonderful surprise to meet Betsy. I have been following her blog too. We talked about books and other topics too. We are meeting again in September.

I have joined an Essay writing course offered in  Edx.org. Aravinda told me about it. Till September 20th we have free access for the materials. It is fun to read about English grammar. I am enjoying it.   My Doddamma is fine, I sent a mail with photos to Sujata. She will read it to her. I talk with my mother almost every day and my daughter talks with me everyday 😊. We enjoy the photos and videos of our grandchildren and we watch them many times 😊. Hopefully they will be able to come next year during summer vacations.

I am reading My grandmother asked me to tell you she is sorry by Fredrik Backman and enjoying it.

When tree planting does more harm than good | Deccan Herald

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/in-perspective/when-tree-planting…

https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/in-kerala-people-shift-from-resistance-to-adherence-873808.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/western-ghats-no-lessons-learnt-from-recurring-disasters-873812.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/masked-booby-rescued-in-kundapur-873413.html

https://www.hindustantimes.com/art-and-culture/ganesh-chaturthi-2020-history…

Online Courses on edx.org – Build In-Demand Skills

https://www.edx.org

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#SoCS Aug. 15/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “pro/con.” Talk about the pros and cons of anything. Enjoy!

I believe we think about the pros and cons of something or the other at different stages of our lives. Making decisions depends on many issues, we think about the advantages and disadvantages of taking a step before taking a decision. Of course at that moment we do what we think is right and it is only later that we come to know whether we have taken the right decision.

Talking about decisions my thoughts go back to 1979. My father worked in the Indian Railways. In that year about five hundred employees under many officers were sent on deputation to Nigeria. My father was the Controller of Stores.  I remember my parents discussing the pro and cons of going to Nigeria. The money would be welcome. But at that time my doddappa and doddamma were in Liberia and my parents were thinking about my grandfather. How could both sons be far away from him? Then my grandfather went to stay with his daughter. My parents were in Nigeria from 1979 to 1982. In one way it was a good decision because they were able to purchase two acres of land and a house in the town where my maternal grandparents lived. My parents lived there for more than thirty years after my father retired.

But my grandfather passed away in 1980 in his cousin’s house. He was 87 ,mentally and physically active till the end. Both his sons were far away from him. That is life.

I spent my summer vacations in Nigeria. The campus was good. One summer, my parents, my younger brother and myself went round many countries in Europe. As my father was in the Indian Railways, we went by train to all those countries. I loved Rome. I had been dreaming of going to Rome after seeing Roman Holiday. I remember throwing a coin over my shoulder into Trevi fountain. I had read that I would return to Rome if I did that.

And, coincidence or not, I did return to Rome in 1988, with my husband 😊 and loved seeing all those places again, specially the fountain. But that time I did not throw any coins into the fountain. It was not because I weighed the pros and cons of that action, I just did not.

As a last thought, I think pro et contra sounds better than pros and cons 😊.

Trevi Fountain | fountain, Rome, Italy | Britannica https://www.britannica.com/topic/Trevi-Fountain

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Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 318 Meet& Part

Raindrops meet dry earth

They part, but create fragrance

Rich and earthy smell.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020)

11-08-2020

Today we are having a little rest from rain. It was pouring the whole of last week. We need this rain but it has caused untold misery to countless people. Most rivers in our state are overflowing and farmlands inundated and crops destroyed. It is a terrible situation and to top it all, the corona virus. And there was a plane crash in the neighbouring state. The passengers were returning from abroad. Then we read about fire in a hotel which was a quarantine centre. There was a landslide in Talakaveri, the birthplace of river Kaveri. There was nothing left of the houses on the hillsides. According to many the landslides are due to human folly and not due to Nature’s fury. It is true. People have been levelling hills for their use, without thinking about effects of such acts. In Mumbai, rains have brought life to a standstill. One of my college friends sent a video where the road in front of our college has become a river! Wilson College is opposite the beach. It is tragic.

I had written about today being a sunny day but suddenly dark clouds gather and there is heavy rain for five to ten minutes, enough to drench anyone without an umbrella 😊. Today evening we went for a walk round our lake and we just manged to get inside the car without getting drenched. The lake is full and overflowing. There are two islands which are home to beautiful birds. We saw the birds carrying twigs and flying to the trees in the island. A safe place because no one goes there. What is it about water that is so fascinating? We have not been to the beach for months and I don’t know when we will be able to go. We are not going out much.  It seems safer.

I sent my mail to my cousin’s wife, Sujata. She will read it to Doddamma. It is more about our grandchildren and I have sent many photos too. I talk to my mother almost every day. She is fine. I am enjoying doing cross stitch designs. I had done many long back. I am listening to The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn in Audibles while stitching. Stories by Mark Twain are fascinating.

Writing about rains, I came across this word, PLUVIOPHILE. It means   people who love rain. The word pluviophile comes from the Latin word “pluvial,” which means rain, and “phile,” which denotes a thing or a person. Therefore, a pluviophile is a lover of rain, or someone that finds joy and peace of mind during the rainy days.

There are so many fascinating words.

Scientists Uncover Biological Signatures of the Worst Covid-19 …

Draft EIA 2020: Inviting disasters, pandemics | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/main-article/draft-eia-2020…

Duo convert quarry land into farmland | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/duo-convert-quarry-land…

What will Ram temple symbolise for you? | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/what-will-ram-temple-symbolise…

Of macabre thought experiments and moral compasses | Deccan … https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/of-macabre-thought-experiments…

Talakaveri – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Talakaveri

Home – Wilson College

Co-op spirit earns praise for auto owners | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/co-op-spirit-earns-praise…

 

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#SoCS Aug. 8/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “spot.” Write whatever image the word “spot” invokes. Have fun!

The first thought that came to mind when I read this prompt were all those ‘spot the differences’ we used to enjoy in comic books long back. It has been ages since I have read any. Childhood was filled with Phantom and Mandrake comics, Archies, all those superhero and heroine ones and of course Asterix and Tintin, Amar Chitra Katha  and Tinkle. In those days, most comic books had something extra like ‘spot the differences’ and some interesting information.

We used to go to my father’s elder brother’s home in Bombay for short vacations. The summer vacations were reserved for our visit to my maternal grandparents’ home in a small town in Karnataka. My cousins in Bombay had a huge collection of comics. I don’t know how many times I must have read each one of them and I don’t think I ever got bored of them. My doddappa’s house was on a hill and there were three or four houses in that building. There were lawns all around. It was doddappa’s s official quarters and was a beautiful place . We spent wonderful moments there. I still remember each and every room in that house. Quite some time ago, I learnt the building was razed to the ground. I don’t know what is there on that spot. The building is gone but those memories will always be with me.

And memories reminds me of an incident that happened in this building which my Amma and Doddamma loved to recollect. It happened in 1962 and I was in the crawling stage and busy exploring the new world. At that time my father had to be in the hospital for a long time due to some problem with his spine. So my mother with my brother and myself stayed with my doddappa and doddamma till my father recovered. We were with them for a year. One morning my grandfather came to my amma and doddamma asking the whereabouts of the baby. They searched the house but I was not found. Then, to their horror they saw the front door ajar. They were in a tight spot !! Doddamma rushed down the stairs, heart in her mouth, fearing that I must have tumbled down the stairs. My mother rushed up and she found me crawling up the stairs with great concentration. With a sigh of relief she carried me back home. Actually, both ladies never told me what my grandfather told them after I was found safe and sound 😊.  

(Doddappa and Doddamma- my father’s elder brother and sister-in-law)