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reflections

#SoCS Oct. 31/2020

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

The word ‘trick’ reminded me of those card-tricks which amazed us in our childhood. A relative would ask us to pick a card from the pack, we were not to show it to him. After a series of questions, he told us what card we had in our hand. It must have been a simple trick but we never figured it out. But it was fun.

When I think about cards, I remember those wonderful vacations we spent in our maternal grandparents’ home every summer. We all played a game called ‘Donkey’ and enjoyed ourselves. Our grandfather looked at us with indulgence.  Later on, in another place and time, we played ‘Canasta’ with cousins from my father’s side. My father taught us the game and we were crazy about it. We played it for hours in my aunt’s house. Now, I do not remember anything about the game except its name 😊. My father loved playing ‘Patience’ and his father, ‘Bridge’.

My grandmother passed away when my father was only twelve. They lived in small town where my grandfather was the head master in the Municipal Highschool. My father and his friends enjoyed themselves and had many tricks up their sleeves. I had asked him to write his memories and he did write them down. They opened a window to those long ago days.

In the 1940s there was a very popular Kannada magazine called ‘Koravanji’. My father and his friends waited for it with great excitement but its cost was four annas. In those days it was a big amount. None had the courage to ask their parents that money. My father found a method which never failed. My grandfather played Bridge with his friends in the club, in the evenings. On the day the magazine came to the book store, my father went to the club. He waited patiently and his presence disturbed my grandfather. When asked why he had come there, my father said just one word, ‘Koravanji’. My grandfather wanting him to leave the place, gave him the money immediately. With a big smile my father and his friends rushed to buy the magazine.  I told him that was a good trick indeed 😊.

Another incident in his childhood which always made him smile was about a Banni tree and the trick he played on his sisters. In those days, people worshipped the tree. Maybe they worship it now too. My father was in 5th std. All children walked to school from their homes.  There was a tall, old Banni tree not far from school.  During the time of examinations my aunts and their friends prayed and kept some eatables at the foot of the tree as their offerings to God. My father and his friends coming behind ate with relish what was kept there. They thought the girls would think that the God of the tree had accepted their offerings. But I am sure the girls were never fooled by the tricks played by mischievous boys 😊.

Banni Tree – Auspicious during Dasara festival

My father with his mother. He must have been seven or eight years. My grandmother passed away in 1943 at the age of 38. My father was 12.

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reflections

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 329 BLOOM & Wet

Raindrops on the blooms

Wet and delicate petals

Tears of happiness.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)

27-10-2020

Vijayadashami was celebrated across our country yesterday. It marks the end of Navaratri festival. We usually  go to temples of Goddess Durga during these days. But this year we went only once early in the evening and it was not crowded. Many people celebrate at home. One of the customs is to keep dolls on different levels. The family members collect a variety of dolls over the years. They have different themes. It is a beautiful custom. My father’s elder sister had a wonderful collection. My friend keeps her dolls every year. Friends and relatives gather on these occasions. I made wheat flour Sheera.

( In a friend’s home, a few years ago.)

On the 22nd I finished a cross stitch design which I had been making for Aravind to keep on his table in his room in the college. It is a favourite scene from Lord of the Rings. It took a month and while stitching I was listening to War and Peace on Audibles. I am loving it. I was stitching in the 21st century and my imagination was in early 19th century 😊.

From 20th to 23rd my cousin and his wife performed the rituals connected with the last rites for my Doddamma in Bombay. On the 23rd about twenty people attended. My elder brother went too. In other circumstances I too would have gone. My Doddappa and Doddamma lived in Bombay lived in Bombay from 1948. Doddappa passed away in 2014 at the age of 91.

On the 24th afternoon I listened to a lecture by Aravind’s PhD guide about Divine Comedy. The title of the lecture was , ‘ The Nuances of Dante’s Religio-Poetical Vision in context. The talk was on Google meets and was attended by students and staff. The talk was very interesting and I had been wondering if I would be able to understand. But I did understand and am thinking of listening to Divine comedy on Audibles. But I don’t know when that will be 😊.

One evening we went to the lake for a walk but there were so many people we came back. Now we walk for half an hour near our home or go to the park opposite Venugopala Temple in our town. Yesterday we went near our home and on the way we saw a couple busy walking on their terrace. They do not venture out for a walk and we waved to the old gentleman sitting in his verandah. Our granddaughter started kindergarten yesterday and her brother is in 2nd std.

Life is going on.

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

Dasara | Dasara Dolls | Bombe Habba | Mysore Dasara | Dasara …

atta ka sheera recipe | Gujarati atta ka sheera | gehun nu sheera … https://www.tarladalal.com/Atta-ka-Sheera-(-Gujarati-Recipe)-35791r

Masterchefs of lore | Deccan Herald

https://www.deccanherald.com/…/masterchefs-of-lore-906120.html

‘By-two’ convention | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/…/by-two-convention-906112.html

Bringing the gods home | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/…/bringing-the-gods-home-905922.html

A hunt for beauty in strife | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/…/a-hunt-for-beauty-in-strife-905923.html

Being nosy? There will be a price to pay | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/being-nosy-there-will-be-a-price…

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reflections

#SoCS Oct. 24/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “starts with ‘m’.” Use any word that begins with the letter “m” as the subject or theme for your post. Enjoy!

My mornings are special because I get to see the darkness giving way to light. I get up early and it is dark outside. It is quiet then but the moment day starts breaking, the birds start talking to each other. I wonder what they are telling each other. Many a time I do yoga and a few exercises to the accompaniment of an orchestra by the birds outside. 😊. A little later my husband puts out chapati pieces for the birds. He sees them waiting on the branches of the trees and plants outside. They fly in when he moves away and very soon there is nothing left. One of my favourite quotes is, ‘Faith is the bird that feels the light and sings when the dawn is still dark.’ by Rabindranath Tagore. It expresses those early morning moments so beautifully.

I think we need a lot of faith these days because almost every day there the ‘My Godmoments. In Kannada we say ‘Ayyo Devare’. These words literally mean ‘Oh God’ and the newspapers are the cause for these expressions. Many a time I feel we should not read the newspaper in the morning ☹. But we are used to reading it as soon as we get it. My husband reads it while drinking a glass of strong filter coffee. I read it later, after I drink my coffee. A newspaper would spoil its taste 😊.

There have been floods and heavy rains in different parts of our country which have led to chaos and destruction. At this time paddy is harvested and heavy rains have spoilt the harvest. Prices of vegetables and other food items have gone up. Yesterday the price of onions was Rs 100 per kg and that is a lot. I wonder how much the growers will get? And on top of this the politicians and all that they do to retain power and wealth. And above all the problems, the corona virus. Number of people getting infected is increasing all over the world and at the same time there are many who have their own doubts about the virus. They believe it does not really exist and it is all fake. Maybe they are just fed up. I think most of us keep asking ourselves when will this end. And there is no answer.

I like stream of consciousness because my musings take me to different topics and it is a fascinating study of the working of the mind.

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reflections

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 328 DUST & Weed

Our summers are dry and hot. Weeds and grass take a long time to make an appearance in the garden 😊. But there is always a layer of dust inside the house as I keep the windows open the whole day. But this is not so during the monsoon season. There is no dust but we see grass and the weeds enjoying their time above the ground. During the rainy days we do not get the garden cleaned. But we do so by the end of the rainy season and it is good to see a clean garden. But due to occasional rains grass and a lot of weeds grow. Along with that we start seeing dust again 😊. And this year we are still getting rains !

Weeds in the garden

A layer of dust in homes

In between the rains.

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reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020)

20-10-2020

We are already in the 4th week of October and it seems surprising to think that days have gone by in spite of so many changes in our daily life. We have become used to these changes though they are not things which we would have willingly accepted in different circumstances. Life teaches us many things.

Yesterday we celebrated our son, Aravind’s birthday. He was born in 1983. Those days seem like a dream now.  When he was in his 3rd month we realised that he had some problem with his eyesight. Usually by their 3rd month babies look at their mothers and smile. Aravind was not doing that. There is a history of eye problems in my family. My father’s mother, her one sister and brother had retinitis Pigmentosa and had become blind by the time they were in their twenties.

Our doubts were confirmed. In those initial days we were so anxious and worried. And kept wondering why our son had this problem. Slowly we came to terms with the situation. My husband was my strength and supported me in every way.

I love reading and did not want Aravind to miss out on that world. I started reading to him from the moment he could understand, not only school books but story books. I lived my childhood again with him. I had to give him a lot of attention and was worried that our daughter would feel ignored and left out. But fortunately, that never happened. Only once she asked me why Aravind could not see like others. I explained to her and she accepted it and took life as it came. I think living with Aravind made her study Audiology and Speech language pathology for under-graduation and post-graduation. She was awarded that best out going student. 😊

We live in a small place and this was a boon to Aravind. He was supported by his friends and teachers. His friends of childhood are friends for life. Very rarely was he made to feel that he was different. Though, he must have been troubled by his disability. The talking software, JAWS for his computer made a lot of difference in his life. We can never be completely independent but it is good to be as independent as can be.

After completing BA in our town, he got admission in one the leading institutes of our country, English and Foreign Languages University in Hyderabad for MA. He continued his studies and went on to complete MPhil and PhD in English Literature. He wrote the National Eligibility Test conducted by University grants Commission. He was among the top candidates and was awarded a scholarship till he completed PhD. He was away for eleven years. He completed his PhD in English Literature in 2016 and applied for a job in the University here and got the job. He wanted to go abroad for Post-Doctoral research but due to the present circumstances it has not happened. But I believe when one door closes another opens.

Actually, I was not planning to write all this but thoughts just came and I could not stop writing 😊.

Yesterday evening we went to the temple to Goddess Mahishamardini. We have always gone there at least once a month. But yesterday we were going after eight months ! The Navaratri Festival to Goddess Durga has started and is celebrated across the country but of course the celebrations this year is muted.  We were worried there would be a crowd. But it was not so and all were wearing masks. It felt nice to go to the temple.

I had baked a date pudding cake. It came out well. In the evening close friends from our Book Club sent a cake. So Aravind cut two cakes😊. He has achieved many of his dreams in life in spite of his disability and he does not worry about it and he says he does not miss what he never had. He is fine with life and has the confidence to face whatever comes his way in life.

I believe there are only two options when troubles come our way, either run away or face them. For me, running away is not an option at all. When we have to face a problem it is better to face it with a positive attitude. When we do that, we remember only the plus points in life.

Egg Free Whole Wheat Upside Down Sticky Dates Pudding Recipe …

All the waters of the Ganga | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/…/all-the-waters-of-the-ganga-902542.html

A sign of our hate-stricken times | Deccan Herald https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/first-edit/a-sign-of-our-hate…

https://thewire.in/the-arts/tm-krishna-edict-project-carnatic-music-ashoka

Common Crane’s continental migration geo-tagged, tracked | … https://www.deccanherald.com/science-and-environment/common-crane-s…

Why are fewer stars forming now? Indian astronomers have the … https://www.deccanherald.com/national/why-are-fewer-stars-forming-now…

English and Foreign Languages University – Wikipedia en.wikipedia.org/wiki/English_and_Foreign_Languages_University

JAWS® – Freedom Scientific

National Eligibility Test – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/National_Eligibility_Test

Kadiyali Mahishamardini Temple – History of the Temple https://sites.google.com/site/kadiyalimahishamardinitemple/our-pastors

Navaratri – Wikipedia

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

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reflections

#SoCS Oct. 17/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “a word you have to look up.” We all have words we can never spell. Use one of yours in your post and let that word drive your stream of consciousness where ever it goes. Have fun!

When I read today’s prompt I remembered my maternal grandfather. I have very fond memories of him because my brother and I spent our summer vacations at his home every year. My parents settled in the same small town after my father retired from service. One day my grandfather told him he wanted to read a good book in English. And he said he could not understand the meanings of many words. What could he do about that? My father suggested that he should read The Complete Stories of Sherlock Holmes. And he should keep a note book and dictionary at hand. My grandfather did that. He showed me the notebooks filled with words and their meanings. I have his two volumes of Sherlock Holmes with me 😊.

Coming back to the prompt, recently I came across the word, ELIDES. I was coming across it for the first time. I looked up in the dictionary and also googled it.

It means ‘to omit in pronunciation, to supress or alter, to strike out something such as a written word, to leave out of consideration.

I remember Chupke Chupke, a fun movie by Hrishikesh Mukherjee. It is about Hindi and English. The heroine’s brother-in-law loves Hindi and does not tolerate the use of English words while speaking Hindi. In the course of the movie, the hero keeps asking him questions about the pronunciation of words in English. He asks why k is elided from the word know and pronounced as no? And but and put have the same spellings but pronounced differently. Many such scenes follow and it had been a pleasure to watch the movie. I have seen it many times over the years and each time it has made me smile.

English has elided many words in Kannada. We have become so used to the English words that we have to really think very hard to remember the Kannada words. My husband is writing a Dental book in Kannada for general readers. He has to use the English to Kannada dictionary regularly. We came to know that the tooth brush is called ‘koorcha’ in Kannada. If such words were used people would have to use the Kannada to English dictionary 😊. In our daily use too, English words have elided words in Kannada.  But there are many who speak Kannada without using English words and it is a learning experience to listen to them.

In places near the borders of two states, many words in a language of one state are elided by the language of the other state. Our village in the northern part of Kerala is not very far from the borders of Karnataka. Kannada speaking people use a lot of Malayalam words and it is said Malayalam spoken there is not as pure as is spoken in south Kerala.

Earlier I used to look up words in the dictionary but now I mainly use Google. We get the meanings of words faster but the dictionary has its own charm. My husband prefers to use his old dictionary. 

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reflections

A Photo a Week Challenge: Masks

IN A NEW POST CREATED FOR THIS CHALLENGE, SHARE A PHOTO OR TWO FEATURING MASKS.

Who would have ever thought that a mask would become an universal feature ? We have become so used to wearing it now that it seems strange if we do not wear one when we go out. I wonder how we will feel when the day comes when we don’t have to wear one ?

This was in June.

In July

In September, my mother in Hyderabad.

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reflections

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 327 DRIP & DROP

Raindrops on the leaves

Dripping from top to bottom

The tree soaking wet.

It has been raining here for a week and looking at the jackfruit tree in our garden , the words drip and drop came to mind.

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reflections

Everyday Moments – (#SOL -2020)

13-10-2020

The last few days have been cloudy ones, it was raining at night and early in the mornings. But today morning we woke to the sound rain pouring down furiously. It rained the whole day as if we were in the middle of the monsoon season instead of being at the end of it. It stopped by evening. We read this is due to low pressure in the Bay of Bengal. But whatever the reason everything is unusual this year.

Saturday morning I talked with my cousin, he said Doddamma is not at all well. She has not been well for a month and most of the time could not connect with people around her. Till then I used to write to her. She passed away Sunday afternoon at the age of 89. Sujata told me Doddamma had taken bath and listened to Vishnu Sahasranama. She asked whether the morning puja was over. Sujata said yes and Doddamma took a deep breath and it was her last one. I loved her very much, that is why I wrote to her every week for nearly three years. She will always be a part of my life.

She and my mother were very close to each other. Due to some reason or the other my mother could not go to Bombay to be with Doddamma. She was planning to go this year in March and corona happened. In 1963 my father suffered from spinal TB and was in the hospital in Bombay for a year. I was jus one and my brother three years. We all lived with my Doddappa and Doddamma for a year. My mother was only 22, she was very worried about my father and we were so small. My grandfather was in the hospital from morning to night. My father learned tatting from a nurse 😊 , he taught it to me. But I have not tatted for a long time. My Doddamma looked after all of us with so much love that my mother believes that this life is not enough to repay her.

Sunday morning, I had prayed to God to take her as she was suffering so much. I felt that I should not have done that. Then my cousin, her daughter, told me not to worry because she too had prayed to God to end her mother’s suffering. She told me her mother left because her time had come.

We all have to go when our time comes and that is not in our hands. She will always be a part of my life.

This was in 2014, my mother and son and Doddamma

( Doddappa and Doddamma)

Depression over Bay of Bengal delays withdrawal of monsoon: IMD https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/trends/depression-over-bay-of…

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/stinging-caterpillars-nd-poisonous-news-900275.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/fighting-the-internet-rebel-against-the-screens-a-bit-900278.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/the-pitfalls-of-polarisation-900276.html