Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments (#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 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. I write to her a little more about our grandchildren😊

15-06-2020

It is pouring as I am writing my slice of life.  It was raining every day last week and at nights too. Today morning it was sunny for a short time. Due to wind and rain there was some problem with the telephone line and our landline was dead for three days !! So, we did not have internet too. Though we could use our data connection. We were remembering last year when it did not rain the whole of June. The rains started one month late and we had water problems too. The seasons are changing as they have in the past but this year the spectre of coronavirus is part of our lives.

On Sunday we were horrified to read about more than 11,000 cases in a single day. When will this end? Those who are suffering, not only from the infection but to everything related to it, continue to suffer. And it was sad to read about so many people returning to the cities in search of work as there was no work for them in their villages.

There has been so much suffering everywhere and it was good to read about the good work doe by so many people all over the world. People have come out of their comfort zones to help those in need. I have shared the link of the article in our newspaper. It was heartening to read about people in quarantine in their towns got together to clean the ground of the school where the were quarantined. They said they were working individuals and did not like to sit idle. A Mathematics teacher in the town of Kundapur, Babu Shetty visited the houses of his students, taking all protection, during lockdown, to help his students who could not go to school. He was appreciated by all. There is no internet connection everywhere, specially in villages and small towns. 28 year old Mallappa , a sculptor has created a beautiful idol of Lord Ganesha during the lockdown period.

https://www.deccanherald.com/sunday-herald/sh-top-stories/have-a-heart…

https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-top-stories/for-returning-migrants-time-spent-working-is-time-well-spent-849048.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/spectrum/spectrum-top-stories/sculptor…
People have discovered their hidden talents. We came to know that some of our friends sing beautifully only recently. We have been seeing children playing every evening near our house. It is good to hear them enjoying themselves because during the lockdown period it seemed unnatural to not see children playing in the evenings. Of course they were unnatural days. We were seeing children plucking something from the grass growing around us. I asked them what were they plucking. They were collecting some seeds which explode when immersed in hot water. Listening to them, my husband remembered his childhood when he and his cousins collected similar things from the fields in their village. It was good to see children outside.

Our grandchildren enjoying on the banks of the river Rhine:)

Yesterday, it was pouring the whole day and we decided to fry onion pakodas. The weather was perfect to eat something fried 😊. My husband made them and we all enjoyed them with tea. We were making this after a long time. When my children were small I used to make fried snacks for them.

https://www.vegrecipesofindia.com/vengaya-bajji-recipe-onion-bajji

There are so many changes in life and we keep changing with them.

“Sometimes in life, a sudden situation, a moment in time, alters your whole life, forever changes the road ahead.”
― 
Ahmad Ardalan, Baghdad: The Final Gathering

Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments (#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 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. I write to her a little more about our grandchildren😊

8-06-2020

Today evening after 2 ½ months my two neighbours, Rekha and Mrs Juliet and I sat together in Mrs Juliet’s verandah and talked for half an hour, wearing masks 😊. We had a nice chat and our main topic of conversation was corona and how it is affecting the world. And, sadly, we felt human beings will not change. It is a sad reflection. The South west monsoon has set and we have been getting rains mainly at night. Last two days were sunny but the not hot. We don’t have to water the plants. Our neighbour gave us some plant clippings and we have planted them. 

We had some plumbing and electrical problems and our plumber/electrician came today to fix the problems. He told us that most people who had come from other parts of our state to work here have gone back to their home towns and villages. The plight of blue collar workers was terrible during the lock down. Our cities and their infrastructure thrive on their work and with no work most of them have gone back to their villages. They really suffered and I keep wondering how they are managing. They have been labelled as migrant workers but I don’t feel that is correct. How can they be migrant workers when they have lived all their lives in those cities?

Last week my husband went for his yearly medical check up and fortunately everything is fine. That brought to mind an article I was reading in the paper about a devastated hilly region a few years ago, is now green and beautiful. Uncontrolled mining had led to the devastation. Under the leadership of the district collector, people of that region planted thousands of saplings. It was also nice to read about an old lady, Venkatamma, who is the lifeline birds and other animals everyday. Her family supports her whole heartedly. People everywhere are doing their bit and this gives us hope for the future.

 Last week I made rasam masala , this recipe was given by doddamma to my mother and she gave it to me. We get masala powder in the market but I prefer to make at home.

We enjoy our evening walks. We wear our masks though we do not meet many people. We have to take care of ourselves. The number of cases are increasing in our place and in the country. God only knows when and how this is going to end.

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/individual-green-initiatives-impact-communities-in-malur-srinivaspur-845727.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/committed-efforts-pay-off-vegetation-revived-on-channarayana-betta-845730.html

It is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be.

                                                                        Isaac Asimov

Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments (# 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 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.

2-06-2020

Problems are increasing everywhere. What has happened in America brings home to us about the evils of inequality all over the world. Our country has become the 7thhighest infected country in the world. In our place, cases are increasing and lockdown is being lifted. We read in the papers that the borders of our capital are being sealed. Life will be terrible for those countless people who have lost their jobs. Locusts have destroyed vegetation all along their path of flight. Not only locusts, we human beings too are destroying so much in our planet. It was sad to read that those in charge of looking after the environment have been surreptitiously approving long pending ‘developmental’ projects inside protected areas of our country. Will people ever learn?

We have been getting rains from the 31st. But these rains are due to depression in the Arabian sea and a cyclone is to hit the coasts of Maharashtra and Gujarat to our northwest. Our monsoon season will start in a day or two as the south west monsoon has hit Kerala, to the south of us.  Nature has her own rules.

It feels there is no end to problems. In the midst of this we have to lead our everyday life.

I have been stitching a cover for our TV on cross stitch material. While stitching I listen to Sherlock Holmes on Audibles. These stories were written in a different time but they have not aged. They are as fascinating as ever. It is now 3.30 in the evening and it is raining heavily. The birds have taken shelter somewhere, otherwise at this time I hear them chattering loudly and exchanging news of the day 😊. Now I am hearing the sound of rain. That too is soothing in its way. We need these rains.

Last month I had stitched salwar kameez for myself. When we stitch our clothes, there is always enough material left to stitch something else. In the past few months I had been seeing ladies wearing kameez stitched by using different materials. I did this and now I have a kameez which I can wear with three different salwars 😊. It is satisfying to create something different.

On the 29th the gas in our cylinder finished. We have two cylinders. We fixed the regulator to the new one and I was horrified to see that gas was leaking. I called our gas agency and they said they would send a replacement soon. Our neighbour was kind enough to give a cylinder. Afternoon when we got our cylinder we asked the delivery man to give the new cylinder there. Meanwhile the defective cylinder was replaced. How I wish problems could be fixed so easily. But, they are not.

Life is going on, the ordinary and the extraordinary. 

https://www.deccanherald.com/specials/insight/flood-of-approvals-by-wildlife-board-sets-the-stage-for-a-crisis-843791.html

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

https://www.indiatoday.in/india/story/cyclone-nisarga-path-tracker-landfall-rain…

Categories
reflections

Everyday Moments- ( #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 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 the last week of March I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma.

25-05-2020

Today we read in the papers that our country is in the top ten infected countries. Everywhere cases are increasing, I wonder where it will end. I was reading in the papers about tests being done on mice, then on monkeys before being tested on humans. I wonder who gave us the right to experiment on other animals?

We are reading about swarms of locusts moving across many states in the northern part of our country. They are destroying all crops and other vegetation on the way. Then there was the devastation caused by the super cyclone to the eastern part of our country. It was heart breaking to read about the problems faced by the differently abled during the lockdown. I don’t think anyone will forget 2020. But acts of kindness and wisdom give us hope. It was nice to read about villagers cleaning a river and others digging wells and desilting ponds for rain water harvesting.

A pond in our village is being desilted and improved to be used for rain water harvesting.

When I read about the troubles everywhere, our everyday life seems so trouble free. So many questions keep coming to mind and there are no answers to them. There is a mango tree very near our roof and there are a lot of dry leaves there. My husband cleaned the roof because once the rains start the water will not flow down easily.  We had thought there were only two jackfruits in our tree but we saw four more. They are high up so we will have to be careful while plucking when the time comes to pluck them. Yesterday my husband plucked the banana cluster from the banana plant. We use the stem of the plant too in some dishes.

My father-in-law passed away on March 24th. Every month we have to offer prayers on a date told by our family priest till the first anniversary of his passing away. On the 22nd we offered prayers, we invited one close friend for lunch. It is a tradition to offer food to a guest on such occasions. I wore a sari after two months 😊. This was gifted by my younger brother and sister-in-law in December. It is a cotton sari, beautiful and comfortable.

Today morning I stitched a cover for my son’s chair using the patchwork pieces my mother had joined. It looks bright and nice. Outside too the world is hot and bright. We are waiting for the monsoon season which will hopefully begin in the next two weeks.

I was talking to my cousin yesterday evening. She lives near New Jersey. Life is the same everywhere. Things that happened last year seem to have happened aeons ago. Life is so different now. Nature has put a very big brake on human activities.

“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.”
― 
Albert Einstein

https://www.republicworld.com/india-news/general-news/locusts-attack-farmlands-in-ups-jhansi-after-rajasthan-and-mp.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/opinion/panorama/invisible-minority-in-tatters-839623.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/shishila-villagers-clean-river-clear-driftwood-839055.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/mangaluru/youths-in-banthadka-dig-well-solve-water-crisis-840045.html

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 saw the postman only twice recently. Last time he told me only registered letters are being delivered. 

18-05-2020

We are in the 4th stage of the lockdown. The state government is going to decide the steps to be followed in the easing of the lockdown. Many people from abroad are returning. At the same time Covid cases are increasing. Yes, we will just have to learn to live with the virus. We have to take care, not only for ourselves but for others too.

Last week we have had heavy rains on three days, along thunder and lightning. The weather has cooled down a little. The leaves are looking greener now, with all the dust washed away. They must be breathing more easily now😊. These rans are due to depressions in the Bay of Bengal. A cyclone is expected in the East coast of our country. A relative in Kolkota was saying, ‘the corona was not enough !! now a cyclone.’

20200518_094316

My husband and his brother have to be within our compound walls till this Friday. My husband is plucking the star apples and cutting and keeping them in the refrigerator. It feels wonderful to eat them after returning from a walk. They are very juicy. Our neighbour gave us a pineapple from their garden. It is looking good.

I have re-started the cross-stitch design which I had started quite some time ago. I am making it as a cover for the TV. While stitching I listen to the stories of Sherlock Holmes on Audibles. They are as fascinating now as they were years ago. I remember my maternal grandfather reading these stories. I have his books with me. He said to my father that he wanted to read some English books. My father suggested these books. I remember him reading with a dictionary and a notebook, writing all the words and their meanings 😊.

img-20200514-wa0000

On the 14th I made sesame ‘chikki’. It is a sweet made with black sesame and jaggery. It came out very well. We also made beaten rice mixture. It is a dry snack made with beaten rice, groundnuts and other ingredients. I have been noticing that many of us are preparing dishes and snacks at home due to the lockdown. I don’t know whether we will continue to do so in the future. I feel I will continue to prepare at home many of the things that I have prepared in the last two months. Even if I forget, I will remember these days. Aravinda has retinitis pigmentosa from birth. During the lockdown period he decided that he must learn basic cooking. He is enjoying the experience. From today he has started going to college. He is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Languages of our University.

20200517_095116

Aravinda and I had started reading Walking with Nanak by Haroon Khalid more than a month ago. We finished it two days ago. We have now started Danube by Claudio Magris. Some books have to be read aloud.

It is already mid-May. Looking back the last two months seem strangely unreal. Were we really inside all those days? How will we look back on these days after some time? I think it is better to take each day as it comes.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,” said Frodo.
“So do I,” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”
― 
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring

https://weather.com/en-IN/india/news/news/2020-05-15-heavy-rainfall-over-coastal-karnataka-assam

https://www.tarladalal.com/Til-Chikki-2940r

https://hebbarskitchen.com/poha-chivda-recipe-poha-mixture/

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 lockdown started I am sending my letters by e mail to my cousin’s wife. She is reading them to my Doddamma. 

11-05-2020

The lockdown is being eased. Inter-state travel is being allowed but people have to apply for travel pass. In today’s paper we read that trains will start too. At the same time we also read about a hike in Covid patients. For how long can we stay in lockdown? If work does not start there is going to economic depression. It will be a terrible situation for countless people. As it is life has been terrible for workers all over the world. They are being allowed to go back to their home towns. What will they do there? We are also reading about child abuse. It is sickening. Does childhood have any meaning for all those children.

Early during the lockdown we read in the paper about one Pradeep Satyamurthy  and his team of volunteers who are helping the migrant workers. They are also helping animals. We talked to him. We and my mother have been sending money to help them in their service. He has been sending daily updates. It really hurts to see the conditions in which people live. It is just survival from day to day. Yesterday he sent a message that he and his team will continue to help others. I think lockdown has made it possible for many people everywhere to come out of their comfort zones. It was good to read about two brothers and their team helping the different abled during the lockdown.

On the 9th, my husband returned from his village. My father-in-law passed away on march 24th at the age 95. Our village is our neighbouring state, Kerala. The borders had been closed. He had to take permission from the concerned authorities before coming. My brother-in-law too has come. He will stay with us for some time.

img-20200510-wa0002

On the 6th we got coconuts plucked from our trees. Nagesh has been coming for many years. This time the yield is not as much as it has always been. We have a breadfruit tree and many fruits were falling due to the heat. This happens every year. But there was a fully grown on for my husband to pluck.

20200509_173210

We make sambhar and other dishes too. I have been stitching some very colourful tablemats. My mother had enjoyed joining the pieces of cloth. She enjoys stitching. Many years ago my doddamma had given me some tablemats with crochet edgings. I managed to stitch the mats in such a way that the crochet edgings are seen. I was feeling very pleased with myself 😊.

20200511_125342

My husband and his brother have to be inside our compound for two weeks. Since yesterday Aravind and I have been going for a walk outside our compound, wearing masks. Today we walked to Manipal lake, fifteen minutes away. We were going there after two months ! I am enjoying Audibles. I am listening to Sherlock Holmes 😊 I have also downloaded stories by Rabindranath Tagore in Hindi.

Life goes on, with all the changes happening around us.

20200511_181213

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/these-hotels-show-service-to-poor-is-service-to-god-literally-835703.html

https://www.deccanherald.com/state/top-karnataka-stories/understanding-is-an-understatement-for-this-caring-group-834420.html

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

“… and when all the wars are over, a butterfly will still be beautiful”.

                                                            Ruskin Bond

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.

20200412_153316

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.

20200425_122858

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

img-20200425-wa0017

( 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.

img_1432

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 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.

20200418_175859

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.

20200420_123502

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/

20200419_113235

( wild flowers in our yard )

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

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
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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.