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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Or at least I like to pretend it does ๐Ÿ˜› 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.ย 

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 allย 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 Pageย while waiting for new pearls of wisdom from Mr. Monkton. I love howย their minimalistic illustrations manage toย convey a myriad of emotions ๐Ÿ™‚ and they fit ratherย 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 challengesย these last two weeks ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ And so let me wrap up this last Monkton post with a big Thank You’ย 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

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I know I will!

Happy Monday People ๐Ÿ˜€ย 

Monkton Mondays!

Today is Holi – The Festival of Colors! Like all things Indian, there are myriad stories that surround one festival ๐Ÿ˜‰ My favourite of the ones surrounding Holi, is the story of Prahlad, son of the Demon-king Hiranyakashyapu. How’s that for a tongue-twister eh? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Well, in manner of all Demons – old & new, this one too got so full of himself, that he declared that the World should worship only Him and none of the 36 million odd Gods that were around. However he harboured a fervent devotee of the Lord Vishnu (The Protector), in his own home, a fact that was like a humungous thorn in his demon-hide! The young prince Prahlad was pious and steadfast and under The Lord’s protection – a fact that saved him from several attempts on his Life. I think his Dad once tried to have him trampled to death by a mad bull elephant – NOT cool! Finally King H called on his evil sister (I wonder if she was a twin), conveniently named Holika (you see where this is going?) for help in killing his son. This is why I say – Family is overrated much ๐Ÿ˜›

Holika had a magical cloak (move over Harry!), that protected her from Fire. Supercool methinks! So anyway, she sat on a burning pyre, and on her lap sat Prince Prahlad, calmly meditating on The Lord’s name. I’m telling you – Meditation is the way to go People! And Lo and Behold (God, I’ve been dying to use that expression!), the cloak miraculously flew off her and onto the Prince, saving him. Meanwhile Holika was Toast! I must confess I feel a little sad for her, but then I’ve always enjoyed the Demon in me ๐Ÿ˜‰ But for the rest of the goody goody World – All’s Well that Ends Well! Good once again conquers Evil and one more festival is added to the ever-lengthening list ๐Ÿ™‚ And for those of you who are interested in the end of the story – The Lord Vishnu appears in the form of a lion-man, grabs the evil King, sits on the threshold and literally tears his heart out!! Oh yeah – Beware the Vengeful God People ๐Ÿ˜› Then the good Prince P becomes the good King P and everyone is happy except the dead and we all know they don’t count!

The purpose of the tale, other than it took me down memory lane and was fun to write ๐Ÿ˜‰ is to explain why we light a huge Bonfire on the night before Holi, and call it Holika! It signifies as always the triumph of Good and a phoenix-like renewal from the ashes of loss. I wonder if Rowling ever read this story? ๐Ÿ˜› Last night we witnessed our very own Holika and she was pretty fiery ๐Ÿ™‚ And although playing with colours traditionally follows the Holika, times they are a-changing my friends. We played with colours yesterday morning, because it was a Sunday and so – convenient ๐Ÿ™‚ It was fabulously fun though and Junior who’s been terrified of playing before, was happy to smear colours on us and himself and even willing to be drenched by water guns ๐Ÿ˜€ some of which by the way, could easily be mistaken for army-issue! He’s growing up and it makes me a little teary, but well – c’est la vie.ย 

In other weekend news – finally began Steinbeck’s East of Eden and am already half-living in the Salinas valley ๐Ÿ™‚ I’m just about a 50 pages in and already I know this is going to be an unforgettable saga of gargantuan proportions. Sorry for the floweriness ๐Ÿ˜› Have been wanting to use ‘gargantuan’ for ages too ๐Ÿ˜‰ And so on to Mr. Monkton…I chose this image because it reminded me of how ‘In the Groove’ we were yesterday – dancing to the latest Bollywood numbers, coloured faces grinning maniacally, carefree and happy! It was a good feeling! A Wonderful feeling ๐Ÿ˜€ I FELT it! And it’s very clear that ย Ms. Bunny feels it too ๐Ÿ˜€

groove-bunny-edward-monkton-10g-tin-of-mints-44204-p

Happy Monday People!

May you always find COLOUR when you need it ๐Ÿ˜€

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 beforeย (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 passรฉ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ 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 ๐Ÿ˜› This morning for example, I must confess to feeling a disproportionate elation on the arrival of Monday ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 sayย I’m in complete agreement with one of the judges who awarded him the 2011 Man Booker Prize, who called him ‘an unparalleledย magus of the heart’. I don’t know of a better way to describe his writing ๐Ÿ™‚

And so to Mr. Monkton – I must confess I’d almost forgotten him in my Barnes soliloquy ๐Ÿ˜› 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.

The-Only-Way_Monkton

Love Yourself People! You’re WORTH it!ย 

And then…Pass it On ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ Am feeling so efficient and angelic right now! Am feeling that halo ๐Ÿ˜› Feeling a lot better now that that monkey is off my back ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ย :/ ย I think it’s a sure sign of ageing ๐Ÿ˜‰ (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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!

Butย since it isย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

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

Happy Monday People! Have a good week ahead ๐Ÿ™‚

Monkton Mondays!

This is my 300th post!! Rather chuffed I am, in a silly sort of way ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ˜› It might not be everyone’s cup of coffee (I am not a tea person) – but it suits me just fine ๐Ÿ™‚ 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!ย And I Loveย You all for your kind words of encouragement and support. Can’t do it without you, so please keep the emoticon-0152-heartย coming People ๐Ÿ™‚ There…that’s my little ‘speechy’ moment all done and dusted ๐Ÿ˜‰

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!

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

Happy Monday Mes Amis ๐Ÿ˜€

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 ๐Ÿ˜› Not that I’m complaining ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 howeverย a delicate process – easily derailed – often by silliness and randomness ๐Ÿ˜› You know what I mean…having to make a cup of tea when I’m deeply engrossed in a book…that sort of thing ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜› Thank you Mr. Monkton for your deep insights!

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

Isn't she beautiful? :)
Isn’t she beautiful? ๐Ÿ™‚

And you? Choose well People!

Happy Monday ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

Monkton Mondays!

It’s that time of year again! February’s here and the World will go crazy inย 645px-Love_Heart_SVG.svgย or at least pretend to ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ˜›

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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ย 

Happy Monday People!

Celebrate LOVE…Everyday! Always & Forever, Won’t you? โค