Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020)

8-09-2020

Today the weather is very pleasant because it was raining in the morning, not pouring, but drizzling for more than two hours. The last few days were very hot. There is a parijatha tree in our garden. At night the flowers bloom and their fragrance fill our lives. We planted a Shanka Pushpa creeper near the tree and the creeper has climbed to the top and dark blue flowers are blooming there. A lot of birds are coming in the morning to eat the chapati pieces we put out for them. We hear them talking to each other sitting on the branches of the trees and plants. About two weeks ago Bulbuls were trying to build their nest inside the house. Fortunately, they gave up and must be busy with their family life elsewhere.

https://mukhamani.wordpress.com/2020/09/05/socs-sept-5-2020/

Last week I had to go to our Dental college/hospital because I broke my tooth. I asked my doctor whether I could come as the hospital had been open only for emergencies till recently. The broken piece was removed one day and yesterday morning I went again to get the sharp edge smoothed. On my way back I went to a fruit shop to buy some fruits. This shop is called Iceland and has been catering to students and others, through the years since early 1960s. They sell fruit juices too. I was talking to the owner who must be more than 75. He said business was dull as there were no students who were good and regular customers. I told him it felt strange to see so few people in the hospital. He replied we could also take it to mean that people were taking more care of their health these days and not simply rushing to the hospital 😊. It was nice listening to his experiences and opinions. Earlier in the morning while going to the hospital the auto rickshaw driver was very grumpy. He said there was nothing like corona, it was something created by politicians and the Chinese to scare people and make their lives miserable! He said during the monsoon season people fall ill and it is something that has always been happening. I kept quiet 😊. There are many who hold this view. Auto rickshaw drivers are finding it difficult to make ends meet because there are so few people moving about, mainly students who use the auto rickshaw frequently. My son’s students tell him that they are missing college life.

Most evenings we go for a walk in our locality for 35 minutes. On the way we see an old gentleman sitting in the verandah. We wave to him and with a smile he waves back. And we see a couple walking briskly on their terrace. They walk for an hour there. They used to go for long walks regularly. I asked them if they do not do so now. She said they do not go outside their compound now. People react differently to the situation. I remember in April we were inside our gates for more than a month and it was such a relief when we started going for a walk and wearing the mask seemed a small sacrifice. But now the mask is becoming a burden. But we have to take care.

My doddamma is not too well, I am just sending photos of my grandchildren. But I am not sure whether she can relate to them. It is sad to see the changes that come to us with old age. But her son and daughter-in-law look after her with love. My mother too is lucky, my brother and sister-in-law look after her with love, my mother tells me she is happy. She goes for her walks, does yoga, reads books and helps my sister-in-law.  Life goes on.

I just finished reading September by Rosamunde Pilcher. It is a very nice book. I liked these lines,

‘Fear knocked at the door, Faith went to answer it, and no one was there.’

Nyctanthes arbor-tristis – Wikipedia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nyctanthes_arbor-tristis

Shanka Pushpa | itslife.in

Shanka Pushpa

Categories
reflections

#SoCS Sept. 5/2020

Your Friday prompt for Stream of Consciousness Saturday is “sharp.” Use it in any or all of its definitions. Have fun!

A few mornings ago, while eating dosa and chutney powder I must have bitten a dal and I heard a sound in my mouth which told me that I must have broken my tooth. I had. It was quite irritating and I decided that I had to go to my dentist. I went to the hospital on Friday morning, I had not been there for months. So many formalities now where once we had just walked in. My temperature was taken, I had to sanitize my hands. My name, phone number and other details were taken. There were not many people around. My husband studied in this college and worked here till he retired in 2017. I told him it felt very strange to see so few patients, students and staff. The place has always been bustling with activity. The broken piece was removed, it did not hurt but I will have to have a root canal treatment but my doctor said if I did not have any problem, I could wait for some time. But after the broken piece was removed the tooth has a sharp edge and my tongue seems to find its way to that place 😊. My doctor said she would soften the edge. I have to go to the hospital again.

While waiting for the x-ray, a sister came to talk to me, I have known her for a long time. As we were talking, I noticed that her right hand looked all twisted. I asked her what happened. About two years ago, she and many others of her community were going on a pilgrimage to Tirupati.

Tirupati – Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tirupati
On the way their bus hit another bus, she was thrown off her seat and her hand was caught between sharp pieces of glass. She lost three fingers. After many operations and physio therapy she is able to do most of her work.

I remember mother telling me that my father did not want to go to Tirupati because some of his friends had met with accidents on the way to that pilgrimage centre. I too had never been there. I have always liked to go to small temples where the atmosphere is quiet and peaceful. Of course I didn’t tell this to the sister 😊.

We talked for some more time. We both agreed that we cannot tell what will happen in the next minute in our lives. We think we are in control but life keeps surprising us. It was time for me to go and as it happens these days we talked about coronavirus and how the world has changed! The virus is ruling our lives.

Categories
reflections

Ronovan Writes #Weekly #Haiku #Poetry Prompt #Challenge 321 Morrow & Surge

Surge in the numbers

Will morrow bring some respite?

Praying from the heart.

Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments (#SOL-2020)

1-09-2020

September has started and the days since March seem so unreal. It is as if all that is happening is happening in another world. That is not so, more and more people are getting infected. Number of people who are infected in our country has crossed 30 lakhs. When we read in the newspaper, they are numbers but so many must be suffering all over the world, in different ways.

We lived in the campus before moving to our house in 2005. Last week we were shocked to hear about the death of our neighbour’s son-in-law. We were neighbours in the campus. The young man fell to his death from the balcony. It is terrible. A belief which most people here believe in is that when our time comes, we do things which normally we wouldn’t have done. It sounds very fatalistic but it answers questions which have no answers.

We are having sunny days and it is raining at night, so the weather is not very hot. Last week I made lime pickles. When I use lime, I put the peel in a bottle with salt and when the bottle gets filled, I make spicy pickles 😊. It is very tasty with rice and curds.

On the 29th was our wedding anniversary, we were married in 1982. It has been a good journey together. Except for two years, we have been in this small town since then. It is a coincidence but our son-in-law was born on 29th August 1982. It is a pleasure to wish each other on the same day. Aravinda ordered a cake, an eggless one and we enjoyed it. I make cake but I don’t know how to put icing and in a way it is good because maybe we would keep thinking of the calories 😊.  Since last week I have been wearing the sari twice a week. We don’t go anywhere, only for our evening walks and I wear my salvar kameez. I got to thinking my saris are not seeing daylight at all 😊. It is a nice change. My Doddamma is enjoying my mails and I write mainly about our grandchildren and send photos too. Slices of life.

The main road near our house has been designated as state high way and recently barriers have been erected in the middle. About a week ago people living in the nearby places were shocked to see no place for people to cross the road even near the bus stands. But there was  an opening near a bar a little away from our place. According to some rule there can be no openings in the middle. It is a very stupid rule. People gathered and local minister came and also the engineer. The engineer said according to rules they could not keep an opening, he was then asked why there was opening near the bar, he said it was due to pressure from above !!! We suspected as much. So everyone asked him if common people had to live under pressure at all times. He had no answer to that. Fortunately, an opening has been provided near the bus stands. Common people are taken for granted, their problems are not problems. It is really sad when people have to fight for their rights. That is life.

The essay writing course was good. Now I am reading ‘What is Philosophy? in Coursera. We can do the courses for free but we do not get a certificate. I am enjoying this learning experience. I am reading a fascinating book, The Difficulty of being Good by Gurcharan Das. He has taken the main characters in the Mahabharata and has shown how we can come to terms with the uncertain ethics of today’s world.  I have just completed the second chapter. It is a compelling book and what is fascinating is that our Epics and Puranas are as interesting now as they have been through the ages.

The Difficulty of Being Good | Gurcharan Das

gurcharandas.org/the-difficulty-being-good

Coursera | Build Skills with Online Courses from Top Institutions

https://www.coursera.org

“What is the greatest wonder in the world?
That, every single day, people die,
Yet the living think they are immortal.”

― 
Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Mahabharata

Categories
reflections

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

Categories
reflections

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

Flawed human beings

Ruled by coronavirus

Days pass into months.

Categories
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

Categories
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

Categories
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.

Categories
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