Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)


 I don’t think we will forget this year for quite some time. Usually in September the rains are less but this year has been a different story. At 3 o’clock on Saturday it started raining and it poured and poured without a break till Sunday evening. It was like whole sky had opened up. All the low-lying areas in and around our place were flooded. Today the house-keeping staff in Aravind’s college told him that she had woken up on Sunday morning to see water everywhere near her house, which is near a river. As it continued to pour, taking their valuables and important papers they went to her brother-in-law’s house, on a higher ground. They could not take their dogs and hens but they survived. Unfortunately, their neighbour lost three cows. They returned home yesterday and spent the whole day cleaning the mess. Such flooding is happening after nearly forty years. We get corporation water from the river and its dam. It is stored in an underground sump. We did not get water for two days because the motor and pump set were submerged due to flooding. The corporation workers had a difficult time getting the motor and starting it. Fortunately, there was water supply yesterday evening. Last year there was no water and this year excess water !! In spite of everything the birds are chattering at top of their voices as usual 😊. The world has not changed completely.

Our town is on top of a hill, there is a valley to one side full of trees. All the water flows down the valley during the monsoon season. About ten years ago, all the trees were cut, the valley filled and buildings constructed. It was terrible to see the destruction and people were helpless. Yesterday, we learnt that sides of the foundation of an apartment building had fallen away due to the heavy rains. The occupants of the building have been asked to evacuate. All the destruction in the name of development. Development meaning a cinema theatre, shops and hotels. They do not have any business too. People believe it is divine justice.

The corona and all this !!  On the 31st my mother’s youngest sister’s daughter got married, we wished them from here. We had decided that we would not attend any function for some time. It is not necessary to take risks. My aunty, her husband and many others got infected, fortunately it was not serious. Another cousin, who is only 32 had a serious problem when she was tested positive. She had to be in the intensive care. The effects of the virus are very unpredictable. Many a time older people recover and younger ones succumb.

After staying at home for days, today evening we went to the lake for a walk. It was pleasant but we did see dark clouds and hoped it would not rain but it did and we got drenched in spite of having umbrellas 😊. The lake looks so different when it is raining. It was looking beautiful. A friend told us there had been water on the walking track for two days due to heavy rains. Again, the bulbuls have been trying to build their nest inside the house and we had to close all the windows. They did not come today. Today I prepared a chutney powder from the recipe given by my cousin. She got it from her mother, who got it from her mother’s sister.  I was feeling nice that I was preparing something which my grandmother and her sisters had prepared in those days 😊.

‘Nothing good is ever lost. It stays part of a person, becomes part of one’s character.’  – The Shell Seekers by Rosamunde Pilcher.

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Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)


It is now 8.30 in the night and it is pouring outside. We are now getting rains every day. From the 10th it has been either pouring or drizzling. Prior to that, for a few days, there was no rain and the days were very hot. People were worried that the monsoon season had ended. This year everything is not what it should be. Life has changed and slowly we are adjusting to the changes but the thought at the back of the mind remains the same, when is this going to end?

Sunday was clouded but it was not raining in the evening, we went for a walk around the lake. The water level had increased after days of raining. It was a pleasure to look at the birds on the two small islands. There are white and black coloured birds.

On the 8th evening Aravinda had arranged a talk by Prof Ubelekar Andrade for his MA students. Aravinda had met Max six years ago at a conference in USA, they met again at a conference in London and have kept in contact. I too listened to the lecture, it was very interesting. The topic was Don Quixote’s cartographic vision: mapping imagination and political identity. I am planning to listen to Don Quixote on Audibles. I read the book long, long ago. I don’t even remember the whole story.

On the 10th we performed a ritual connected to the last rites of my father-in-law. According to our customs we have to do these rituals every month till the first anniversary. We prepare certain dishes and invite a guest for lunch. In normal circumstances more people would have been invited for a more elaborate prayer. Our friend who comes as our guest had Covid. He was in quarantine in his house. He said he had fever for two weeks and during that time he lost his senses of taste and smell. But he recovered and is fine. He said it was not as terrible as he had imagined and he also said he was lucky. Moreover, he had no other health problems. Cases are increasing and now the quarantine rules have changed. But the effects of the virus are very unpredictable. One of our friends recovered in spite of having health problems and we heard a young doctor died in spite of not having any health problems. So, luck plays an important part.

On the 13th Todd Tyrtle arranged the international book club meeting. It was fun and I liked the interaction between all of us. Todd and Elizabeth are WordPress friends. Finally, I made the ‘tea masala’ which I had been planning for quite some time. The spices add a flavour to the tea. I have started listening to War and Peace on Audibles. I read it so long back that I don’t even remember the story 😊. All this seems so normal, yet it is not so. But life has to go on, we cannot put a hold on everything. Many have started saying we should learn to live with the virus.

If you don’t get everything you want, think of the things you don’t get that you don’t want. ~Oscar Wilde

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Everyday Moments (#SOL-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.

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

Shanka Pushpa |

Shanka Pushpa


Everyday Moments (#SOL-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

Coursera | Build Skills with Online Courses from Top Institutions

“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


Everyday Moments (#SOL-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

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Everyday Moments (#SOL-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 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.

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Online Courses on – Build In-Demand Skills


Everyday Moments (#SOL-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.

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Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)


It has been a rainy week, sometimes pouring rain and sometimes drizzling. Yesterday evening it was not raining and we decided to go for our evening walk. When we were a little away from home we saw dark clouds approaching us. There is something very majestic about the way dark clouds gather and move. It started raining, we had our umbrellas and there is a nice feeling about walking in the rain 😊 We got wet but not drenched. But yesterday night due to heavy rain and wind, we did not have electricity supply the whole night. We have an inverter so we did not have any problem. There are many coconut trees and during the rainy season the fronds fall and if they fall on electric wires, they have to be removed for the supply to resume.

The coronavirus situation is very bad but it is being said the recovery cases are good. The economy is in a bad shape and God knows how long it will take for it recover. Aravinda goes by auto rickshaw to his college. The drivers say with no students in the campus there are very few people who travel by the auto rickshaw. Yesterday I was talking to the driver in whose vehicle Aravinda came home. I have known the driver, Shiva, for a long time. At different times his mother and sisters worked in our house when we were in the campus. He said Aravind and one more person were his only customers in the afternoon. That has been the case since the virus came into our lives. Life is very difficult for those who live on daily earnings.

It seems strange when all this is happening to us, life in nature specially is going on as it had gone on earlier. Of course, there will be ups in their lives. Early in the morning I do yoga to the accompaniment of birds’ voices. I wonder what they are telling each voices. They are busy searching for food. They love to chatter 😊. Last week, I saw a bird which I had not seen. My husband told me it was a wild fowl. I took a photo from the window but when I went out it flew away. We are seeing a lot of peacocks these days and monkeys too. It is fascinating to see the babies clinging to the bellies of the mothers.

Our grandson’s summer vacation started from 29th. My grandson told me he would have been sleeping in the plane if they could have come! We will miss their visit.

I am writing to my doddamma every week. Last week, I sent a message to Sujata, her daughter-in-law that I had sent the mail. At that moment she was reading it aloud, she made a video call. Doddamma could not speak much but she was very happy to hear us talk to her. I showed her inside and outside of our house. She has not come to our house. She has not come this side for more than fifteen years.

My mother too was feeling very tired and was having pain in her leg. She is with my elder brother. She had lymphoma in November 2017 and recovered. We were worried but her blood report is normal. Her physio therapist is helping her. Hope my mother feels better soon.

We change so much as we grow older. A character in a book said if there are no pains in a person who is eighty plus then he must be dead !!

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Everyday Moments – (#SOL- 2020)


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

My friend and I 🙂

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

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

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

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

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

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

And, life goes on.

Amarnath Yatra cancelled for this year due to coronavirus COVID …


Everyday Moments (#SOL- 2020)

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

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

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

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

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

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