Monkton Mondays!

It’s been a while since I was away…you know how it goes…you go a vacation and no matter how short, it takes days to prepare before and weeks to get back to routine after 😉 Or at least I like to pretend it does 😛 So it was, after our Easter weekend getaway in Ooty – a hill station in the Nilgiris, in the neighbouring state of Tamil Nadu. Detailed post will follow just as soon as I can get through the ton of pictures I have to sort through. 

I must also write that this will probably be my last Monkton post for a while. As much as I enjoy them, I’ve been doing them for so long that I’ve used all of my favourite pictures and unless Mr. Monkton does a fresh lot of illustrations, I feel like I’ll be forced to repeat many of them. I’ve been toying with the idea of using illustrations from the The Happy Page while waiting for new pearls of wisdom from Mr. Monkton. I love how their minimalistic illustrations manage to convey a myriad of emotions 🙂 and they fit rather well with my Blog title and theme. Unfortunately…I can’t seem to think of a cool alliterative title (I have a thing about alliteration as far as titles go :P), so all suggestions are very welcome!

Although I’ve been away from the Blog, I’ve been busy with the camera and am still very much a part of the CameraShy Take52 Challenge. Will update those posts as well during this week. We’ve had some interesting challenges these last two weeks 🙂 And so to the start of another week, just a few days left and we’ll be in May – almost half the year done in the blink of an eye! As of now the things that occupy my mind are getting a dog (although that’s perpetually on my mind!) and our trip to Kabini in June and then Goa – for a month long break after – by which time hopefully the Monsoon will be in full swing and we’ll be rid of this wretched heat! Tomorrow, Junior has a ‘Leadership Summit’ in school – can’t wait to see what they’ve come up with 🙂 And so let me wrap up this last Monkton post with a big Thank You’ a la Monkton…To all of you for reading and for making writing a joyful experience – I’m very grateful! I hope you enjoy the Tin of Good Things 😀 

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I know I will!

Happy Monday People 😀 

Monkton Mondays!

I keep meaning to write and when I finally sit down to do so…I see it’s been 3 weeks since I last did! I could apologise but I’ve been busy having good times 😛 I mean…one has to occaisonally go about and do happy blog-worthy stuff no? 😉 Lets see…last I posted was just before we left for Goa for Junior’s spring break. What followed were four glorious days of fun and frolic with friends and family 🙂 Break was longer but I had carefully choreographed the visit so it sou;don’t exceed my tolerance threshold! Make of that what you will 😛 but if you’re anything like me and/or know me well, you’ll understand why I can only manage short bursts of joy in Mom’s home! Believe me it’s better that way for the both of us 😉

Back home in Bangalore and we still had a weekend before school re-opened, so we visited the Banerghatta Biological Park and took a safari. There’s also a zoo which we avoided on advise from most friends who said it was totally avoidable. The safari was great fun though, and although the animals are in a controlled environment, it’s nonetheless exciting to spot a lion, a bear and a tiger…lolling around and sleeping off the dry summer heat 🙂 Junior was beside himself with joy and I’m always happy to get that perfect shot. In June, we are off to Kabini – to visit the Nagarhole National Park. I’m super excited at the thought and am crossing every part of my body and mind in the hopes of seeing a tiger in the wild!! I’ve heard one once in the Kaziranga National Park and the sound still gives me gooseflesh in the best possible way.

This last weekend Junior turned 6 🙂 He still isn’t bothered about parties and so we did a cake-cutting in school, the day before and spent his Birthday morning visiting Martins Farm and playing with the farm animals there; while in the evening we saw Aladdin – a musical play where we met several of his classmates and they all had a ball running around in the manner of headless chickens 😉 😛 I think they all enjoyed the goofing around more than the play! You know how little boys can get! And while I was looking for books as return gifts, I discovered Tullika. I’d heard of Tullika of course – an Indian Publishing house that does fabulous children’s books but didn’t know that they also offer special Birthday packages! Ordering the books was a piece of cake thanks to the prompt and extremely helpful Aneesha 🙂 I picked my books and sent them a list and sat back and relaxed. They sent me the books wrapped in gorgeous wrapping paper that matched the book covers complete with printed Thank You cards!! They even sent Junior a free book as a Birthday gift. Truly awesome service Tullika!!! Thank-You once again, especially to Aneesha who co-ordinated with me 😀 Cannot recommend them enough!

Add to all of the above, planning a trip to Ooty on the 17th of this month, my ongoing Photography challenge and reading East of Eden…and you know I’ve been a busy bee! Well that brings us unto today…the first day in a long time that my mind feels peaceful enough for a return to a routine. Hubby’s Birthday is coming up on Friday, but since no gifts are to be given nor expected – it’s all cool 😉 😛 And so to Mr. Monkton…It seems only fitting that I should dedicate this week’s post to Junior – who brings me more joy than I imagined possible and more hope that I believed existed. He makes all sadness bearable and all happiness happier 🙂 And there are times when I look at him and wonder what it is in me that deserved him…whatever it is…I treasure it and I treasure him ❤ :* Now enough with the sappiness and lets get to it!

a-birthday-blessing-edward-monkton-6006096-0-1342798896000Happy Monday People 😀

Never miss a chance to dance in the rain! 

Monkton Mondays!

It’s been a mixed weekend. Spent the first half of International Women’s Day in School at the PTM with Junior. All was well except that I was down with one of those inexplicable attacks of the common cold – you know the ones where you were perfectly fine the day before (or so you thought!) but woke up to a hundred sneezes? Yup! That’s the one! Well, Mom had to be on duty, cold or no cold, predictably; and so she was, again – predictably. Dad was…lets just not go there shall we? Wouldn’t want to begin the first post for the week with a rant against husbands. So passé n’est pas?!

Junior has found his footing in school, more or less. He’s happy to go, happy to learn and generally happy for the most part 🙂 Fingers crossed for Grade 1 in August! The second half of Saturday I spent ‘zonked out’ in bed. There is no better term to describe it, I promise! It was the sleep of the afflicted and it was restorative to say the least. Woke for an hour around dinnertime, when Hubby redeemed himself a tad by taking the Munchkin and himself out to dinner and bringing me back some Pepperoni Pizza. And before you jump down my throat saying Pizza is not appropriate nutrition for the afflicted; let me jump right down yours and say IT IS 😛 Proof lies in the fact that I felt much recovered on Sunday and was able to attend my first Sunday Soul Sante – a Bangalore institution of sorts I imagine, a fiesta of arts & crafts supplemented with the requisite food stalls, fashion show and live music 😀 The traffic was killing but luckily the venue was practically in our backyard, and I had fun wandering around with Junior, discovering little treasures, for an hour or so. That’s my limit in a crowd that size…longer is unthinkable!

I don’t know whether this is a part of growing older too (so much of what I feel and experience seems to be), but routine weekdays are now ‘easier’ than planning weekends 😛 This morning for example, I must confess to feeling a disproportionate elation on the arrival of Monday 😉 Perhaps the fact that I look forward to writing this post and a new theme in my Photgraphy Challenge has a little something to do with? Possibly…whatever the reasons, it feels good to be alone, in a silent house and able to write; able to think. Also I’m happy to report the number of sneezes is down to 10 🙂 and that I have finished my latest Julian Barnes book, Levels of Life, which has reinforced my love of his writing manyfold. He writes about grief (don’t they all?!), but he weaves magic with his insight into ‘grief’ and ‘the mourning process’ as he sees it, so that in the end it doesn’t leave me feeling as depressed as I expected it would. As always he tells not a conventional story – that is not his way – this reads more like a philosophical essay perhaps – I’m unsure of where and how to slot it, which for me is part of its allure.

Through ballooning and photography, and the journeys of three fascinating real-life characters (completely and utterly unknown to me), who are ‘put together’ and ‘torn apart again’, he explores the mysteries of the human heart and mind and weaves his way to the story of his own grief, his own journey, his own process. All this is in 118 pages! Along the way, he taught me a few new words too, ‘divagations’, ‘recidivism’, ‘solipsism’…words that I had to look up and that are now happily a part of my consciousness. Every thought he offers, every feeling he feels, felt real and resonated with forceful impact, no doubt because of the loss of my own brother 5 years ago. I identify on a gut level where he’s coming from. No explanations required. Needless to say I’m in complete agreement with one of the judges who awarded him the 2011 Man Booker Prize, who called him ‘an unparalleled magus of the heart’. I don’t know of a better way to describe his writing 🙂

And so to Mr. Monkton – I must confess I’d almost forgotten him in my Barnes soliloquy 😛 but not quite! What with Women’s Day (although everyday is Women’s Day in my book!), and finishing this book which may be obviously about grief but is just as obviously about love, I think this thought of Mr. Monkton says it all. I’ve always thought that we women never do as good a job of loving ourselves and other women as much as we do with the men and children in our lives. And I firmly believe that’s it’s the only way forward! So here’s to self-love without which I believe there can be no form of lasting love at all.

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Love Yourself People! You’re WORTH it! 

And then…Pass it On 🙂

Happy Monday!

Monkton Mondays!

So, here we go again! Another Monday – although this one’s special if you are an Oscar fan! I’m not 😛 The first thing I do on a Monday morning after Junior leaves for school and Hubby for work, is sit down to write Monkton Mondays. But today, the words just don’t seem to flow! Strange, coz I know what I want to write but I can’t seem to find a rhythm…and that just throws me. I think it must be because my mind feels overloaded with ‘STUFF’. Just ‘stuff’ you know – nothing unmanageable on it’s own but all together a rather heavy burden. Things that need sorting, difficult calls that must be made – stuff that I would rather not do and keep postponing (as if that ever helps!). Eventually, I’ll just have to bite the bullet and do it and I will, all in good time 😛

Took a break after writing that first bit…watched the Oscars for a while, did some deep breathing (and no I don’t mean yoga!), and made those calls. Managed to keep my cool and get my points across while keeping blood pressure within normal limits 😉 Am feeling so efficient and angelic right now! Am feeling that halo 😛 Feeling a lot better now that that monkey is off my back 🙂 and so back to the post.

It is Oscar Monday…but really, is it just me or are the Oscars just getting more run-of-the-mill with every passing year? I don’t mean the actual performances, just the rest of the surrounding hoopla. The Red Carpet interviews were ordinary, and yes some of the gowns were great, as were a few performances, my favourite was Ordinary Love by U2 🙂 and yet I got this overwhelming sense of deja vu – been there, seen that kind of feeling. It all just suddenly seemed so put on  :/  I think it’s a sure sign of ageing 😉 (I’ve seen a fair share of Oscars over the years after all), although it could also be because I haven’t seen any of the nominated movies. And I don’t think I will because they all seem so angtsy and depressing! Also, I yearn for movie stars who ooze glamour like Elizabeth Taylor, who ooze charm like Audrey Hepburn and elegance like Grace Kelly…see what I mean? I’m living in the past. All the women looked so androgynous to me today…I guess I just like a woman to look feminine occasionally…LOVED Kate Blanchett though (so so happy she won!) and Glen Close and of course Meryl Streep 🙂 Missed RDJ and Depp and Denzel…Benedict Cumberbatch was great eye-candy for the 5 minutes he was on stage! Sadly, found Ellen rather boring and the humour flat :/ but loved Pink singing Somewhere over the Rainbow, looking like a jewel in her stunning ruby red gown. Found the standing ovations for every performance very artificial and staged! All in all found the whole show rather dull and boring sort of like the weather we’re having here in Bangalore right now…muggy!

But since it is the biggest night at the movies, I thought I would share this Monkton film that is a sensitive and innovative interpretation of the greatest mystery in the world – Love! Now that to me is Oscar-worthy 😉 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1KpfkCtmwVU

Happy Monday People! Have a good week ahead 🙂

Monkton Mondays!

This is my 300th post!! Rather chuffed I am, in a silly sort of way 😛 Didn’t think I’d last this long…not known for my sticking to any one thing for a significant length of time…just ask Mom or Hubby or…well Me 😉 I’m a restless soul – and in lieu of any other explanation – I must concede that I was born this way. I’m like the proverbial rolling stone, rolling this way and that, gathering bits of moss – some stick, some fall away, all leave a mark – invisible or otherwise. It isn’t entirely a bad way to be, to live…although there are moments when I crave the illusion of security that chaperones the more steady existence. Very brief moments 😉

For the most part though…I’m content with being who I am and Happy – in the way a ride on the roller coaster makes me happy 😛 It might not be everyone’s cup of coffee (I am not a tea person) – but it suits me just fine 🙂 I want to send a huge THANK YOU to all my readers without whom…on many days…there would have been no reason to lay pen on paper or I suppose finger on key! Many are the times when I have despaired of ever writing another word, and a nudge from a friend has rekindled the flame. You know who you are – THANK YOU! And I Love You all for your kind words of encouragement and support. Can’t do it without you, so please keep the emoticon-0152-heart coming People 🙂 There…that’s my little ‘speechy’ moment all done and dusted 😉

And in return for all the Love you have shown me here’s a little something from Mr. Monkton that I hope you will find useful!

the-cloud-of-loveliness-edward-monkton-6006125-0-1342798896000

Because…we could ALL do a little bit of Loveliness in our Lives n’est pas?

Happy Monday Mes Amis 😀

P. S. If this post seems rambly blame it on Sherlock! Uh huh! Watching Benedict Cumberbatch while trying to write will do that to you 😛 Not that I’m complaining 😉

Monkton Mondays!

Monday again! How regularly they turn up! Oh well…it has been a quiet weekend and although Hubby returned from a week-long absence and entertained Junior for a couple of hours…well that’s just it…it’s a couple of hours out of the 24 and not nearly enough…but hey! I’ll take what I can get. I’m a little out of sorts…can you tell? It’s how I typically react when Hubby gets back from being away…there’s the return to a more intensive routine that bugs me for a while versus the joy of having him home. It takes a few days to get things in balance again. The achievement of that equilibrium is however a delicate process – easily derailed – often by silliness and randomness 😛 You know what I mean…having to make a cup of tea when I’m deeply engrossed in a book…that sort of thing 😉 Also, is it just me or does just the one extra person mean so much extra work and planning?!

Oh I know I’m cribbing…who cares! It’s Monday and I’m entitled…especially because I’ve just received a phone call from my maid’s Mom saying she isn’t well and won’t be coming to work today…so as soon as I get breakfast for said, now unsurprisingly, even more irritating Hubby, (this is a very Asian thing me thinks; this getting all het up with the Hubby when the maid disappears!), it’s off to do a sink full of dirty dishes and other ‘housework’, when I’d rather be writing! See what I mean! Well, at least she called which is more than some others do!

But there is one thing I did this morning that might just be my ‘Happy Fix’ for the day…took a picture of the beautiful, luminous moon at 6 am as soon as I got up 🙂 Just writing about it brightens my mood! So I guess it’s true about the Deadly Donkey then…

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Well now! Isn’t that a deep rhyme to be living by! Sounds a lot like my Granny actually 😛 Thank you Mr. Monkton for your deep insights!

So today…I choose the Moon in all her wonderful lunacy! 

Isn't she beautiful? :)
Isn’t she beautiful? 🙂

And you? Choose well People!

Happy Monday 🙂 

Monkton Mondays!

It’s that time of year again! February’s here and the World will go crazy in 645px-Love_Heart_SVG.svg or at least pretend to 😉 Come Valentine’s Day, all those who are lucky in Love will celebrate and those that are not will hang down their heads and cry…I suppose…or hold them high and celebrate for all I know 😛 I have no problems with Love and even less of a problem with celebrating it, but these days, it seems like everyone celebrates it because it’s what’s expected somehow, because they want to feel like they belong. I also don’t like how Valentine’s Day has become almost exclusively about ‘romantic’ love! Just my personal opinion – feel free to hold your own!

I have known my husband for 25 years. We’ve been married 22 of those. Our love has been fluid through the course of our relationship – as a lubricant when there was need for compromise; like water – for dousing out those infernal arguments; a fuel – for you know when 😉 It’s also been the glue that has held us together; the rubber band that has allowed us our space when we needed it; and the hope that keeps us afloat in the many storms that Life sends our way. And that’s how it been in ALL my relationships – with my Parents, my Gran, my friends and now with my Son…Love does what it can to show me a good time if I let it! If I don’t interfere too much, it generally knows best, even if I don’t see it at the time 😛

And so here is a collection of Valentine Day messages in inimitable Monkton-style…messages that I would love to send and receive on VD if I were into that sort of thing 😉 

Happy Monday People!

Celebrate LOVE…Everyday! Always & Forever, Won’t you? ❤