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!

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? ❤

NaPoWriMo – Day 5

My son turns 5 today on the 5th of April and it’s the 5th day of NaPoWriMo!! Almost a week done and I haven’t quit yet…a miracle in itself 😛 I thought of sticking with the haiku theme I’ve chosen, even wrote one, and then I came across the poem I had written some time ago for this very day! Of course I had to find it after I’d already done the hard work of writing another haiku 😛 Still, since today is a Happy Day and all – no complaning 😉

So here it is – my Ode to the “The Boy who Makes Me Smile!”

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THIS IS HOW I LOVE YOU!

This is how I love you…

With a primal love,

Raw, naked and drenching

Like a waterfall

That drowns me in its waters

And brings me dreamless sleep.

This is how I love you my sweet.

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With a mellow love,

Soft, gentle and rich

Like the smoothness of silk

That blankets my soul

In a cocoon of joy.

This is how I love you my sweet.

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With a riotous love

Boisterous, mirthful and gay

Like the whimsy of bubbles

That shower me with constant joy.

This is how I love you my sweet.

And I know you love me too.

–          Harsha

Happy Birthday Darling & God Bless 🙂

HUGE THANK YOU to all of you who have sent him love and blessings, from Mother & Son 🙂 

 

A Letter to my Son…

My Darling C,

You’re 5 today! A mini-milestone on this happy journey of Life. Five is a good age – for you and for me 😉 you’re old enough to take those first wobbly steps towards independence and young enough to still let me hold your hand! And how I adore that walking hand-in-hand! It makes me feel loved and useful and special in a way nothing else can! And we are name-buddies too! We are both named for Happiness and to me that’s the most miraculous thing – a sign that ‘this was meant to be!’ 🙂 I’ll tell you more about why someday.

You’re not going to understand most of this letter until much later, when you’re older and hopefully wiser, but I’m really writing it now, for me. I won’t fill it with any advice other than to say, “Play hard, Laugh often and Mind your manners!” If you can do that now, you’ll have an easier time of it when you’re older and the going gets tough, as it inevitably will. Laughter will always help even if you’re just pretending! It’s a cleanser and healer and often you’ll feel better even when you don’t want to 😛 Besides we have a tradition of laughter in our family…our guffaws are legendary!! Don’t let me down now 😉

So often during these 5 years, I’ve wanted to time-freeze you! Keep you from growing up and cling tenaciously to your innocence for a while longer. Oh! I know, it’s a fool’s dream…but tell that to my Mommy heart 😉 I remember wanting to stay the ‘same’ myself too! I didn’t want to turn into a mother who cannot see, think or live beyond her children. It may work for some, but not for me. I was so afraid of losing my ‘self’ that I was blinded to the possibility that you would just ‘enhance’ that ‘self’ – give it layers and depth and meaning without disturbing its core essence. And for that I thank you and bow to the wisdom of this ancient Universe that has made it so 🙂 Yes! you’ve altered my life irrevocably but I’m still ‘me’ – just a better version 😉 Oh I know you’re going to think I’m a loon speaking gibberish and you’re right but someday you will understand – both the gibberish and the immense importance of indulging your loony side 😉

Raising you has been a life-altering experience! After B, you’re the only one in this whole entire universe who holds the key to my heart. I wish you could have known him…the two of you would have been inseparable, although I think you already are! Ever so often i see him shining through your eyes and i know then i am doubly blessed to have loved you both! You make me laugh and cry and tear my hair out in frustration 😉 You brought the joy of play back into my life at the bleakest of times and I’ve never looked back since. Your smile is more effective than any nuclear missile – use it wisely 😉 As for your tantrums – well since you’ve learnt them from me, how can I possibly complain? 😛

I’m so very proud of you and of the fact that I am your Mom. I’m enjoying every moment of our journey together and I can only hope you are too! You are many things to me my darling – my joy, my hope, my love, my faith, my gratitude, my teacher, but most of all you are my blessing from the Universe and I want you to know that I love you with all my heart – always and forever.

For Caivu's 5th Birthday1

HAPPY BIRTHDAY MY DARLING & GOD BLESS!!

❤❤❤❤❤ Love forever after, Mamma.❤❤❤❤❤ 

An Avian Love Story!

So, Valentine’s Day is here and the world – real & virtual has turned Red…the color of Love, or so the experts would have us believe 😉 I love LOVE, but I’m not so big on the commercial craziness that seems to pass for it these days…but Hey! I’m not the target customer am I?! I’m happily in my 40s’, happily married to the same guy for 21 years and happily not celebrated Valentine’s Day for most of those 😛 So yeah – I’m comfortable and secure in the knowledge and possession of a strong, deep passion for my Man – undimmed by years of togetherness; and of solid bonds with family & friends unbroken over years of disagreements 😉 It’s nice to be told ‘I Love You’, but it’s more important to mean it and to demonstrate it consistently. Love is not always ‘pretty’ and ‘wondrous’ and doesn’t always come neatly packaged in a ‘red heart-shaped box’ as those of us who’ve lived long enough know 😛 Love, like everything else, is a matter of perspective, and can get tricky masquerading as it so often does as other emotions – recognizing it can be a b*&$% 😉

But today – No charades, I promise!! Today I present you with a wonderful Love Story that I spent over an hour watching and photographing from my living room window 🙂 A little tableau that proves the truth, ‘Love is Universal!’ Who says Birds don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day?!!

Here we go!

In the beginning…he sits alone. Waiting…

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She approaches. Wondering, tentative…

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He’s interested!!

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And makes his move 🙂

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Cleans his bill…he is a ‘Gentleman’ after all 😉

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And moves in for the Peck!

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But every Love Story has it’s Villain – even Avian ones 😉

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Our Man (Or should I say Parrot!) however, is unafraid to defend his honor…although she seems pretty nonchalant no?!

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…And stares down the intruder with panache under his fiance’s keen eye!!

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The intruder doesn’t stand a chance and with him gone, our man doesn’t waste any more time in getting down to business 😉

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Ahem! Ahem! 😉 [Such a shameless voyeur I am :P]

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Sealed with a Kiss 😉 Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw 🙂

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Life is Beautiful 🙂

Hope you enjoyed that as much as I did 😉

Celebrate Love People – Wherever, Whenever, However 😀

Monkton Mondays!

It’s Monday again!! They do seem to come around with amazing regularity don’t they? 😉 I wonder how it would be if I fell asleep one Sunday and got up to find out it’s Tuesday morning!! Disorienting I know, but a refreshing change too? 😛 But I would feel bad about missing out on my daily dose of Monkton 🙂

And since Valentine’s just a couple of day’s away, I thought this one from Monkton especially fitting to the occasion 🙂 I’m not big on Valentine’s Day, but I am HUGE on LOVE, and as usual he manages to say exactly what I feel in a wonderfully humorous way! This one is dedicated to G…although our particular ‘Still and Settled Place’, will be regularly punctuated with painful yells from yours truly when he steps on my toes as we dance. 😛 He loves doing that 😉 Go Figure! 

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 Enjoy the week ahead People and Happy Valentine’s Day to those of you who celebrate 😉

Love or something like it…

We’re at that time of the year again…the Circus of Love will reach it’s grand culmination on Valentine’s Day! Don’t get me wrong…I love ‘Love’ as much as the next person and I love a good ‘Celebration’ even more, but somewhere in my past (avoiding the age issue people :P), I fell ‘out of love’ with what I like to think of as the ‘Business of Love’ that masquerades as the real thing these days. When did Love become all about giving gifts and sulking when you don’t receive them (although I’ve been guilty of that too way back when), about which restaurant is the ‘most happening’, about the size of bouquets and the largeness of diamonds (The bigger the better, I always thought that was a given ;-))?

I’m the first to admit, It feels great to receive gifts anytime of the year, but it saddens me to think see that Valentine’s has now become almost exclusively about those ‘gifts’ while the sentiment lies forgotten or worse ignored. It also bothers me that ‘Romantic Love’ seems to be the only kind of love celebrated, no doubt coz that’s what suits businesses the best! Love is Love people – One emotion, different forms 🙂 This Valentine’s Day, Hubby and I are apart, as indeed we often are when there’s something to celebrate, but I’m surrounded by Love, in all its forms and glory 🙂 I dug around my old posts to see whether I had done one on Valentine’s before (lazy as usual :P), and true to form found a paragraph on it here, which I reproduce now for those of you too lazy to click on the link 😉 but also coz my views on the matter remain unchanged!

Here goes, “February 14th – Valentine’s Day. I’ve long since stopped celebrating Love on one particular day of the year but have nothing against those who do. For me Love is a continuum, a constant presence – some days it’s a strong passion that overwhelms me and makes my heart flutter and my knees weak. Other days, it’s like a still river, placid with deep undercurrents, promising, seemingly calm but excitingly unpredictable. On still others, it’s light, frothy like mousse or souffle, delicate, fragile and delicious! For me Love is laughter, good books, good food and close friendships :) I’m lucky, I’ve found Love in abundance in my Life, and though I don’t always recognize it in its various guises, I am eternally grateful for its presence!”

And for my Hubby on this special day, a quote, I think is infinitely appropriate 😉 “Take each other for better or worse but not for granted.” – Arlene Dahl I know he’ll understand 😛

So Happy Valentine’s Day People 🙂 I hope you celebrate Love in any of its infinite forms 🙂

And because no-one does Love quite like Mr. Edward Monkton, here’s a Valentine from me to all my readers, who’ve stuck by me and been patient and understanding beyond the call of duty, who’ve forgiven my irregular posts, my insane ramblings and my grammatical mistakes 😛 and made me feel like a true writer for the very first time in my life 🙂 Your Love, Makes my Heart Explode!! Keep it coming People 😉 😀

The ‘Love’ List!

Have just wrapped up a rather hectic week, and here we are at the start of what promises to be another! The more so for me, coz Hubby is out-of-town on work and so Ishaan will be more clingy…welcome to my World! It’s already begun…he was all weepy today when I dropped him off at school. Hubby always drops him off in the mornings and I pick up in the afternoons, so I guess he was missing Papa today! He’s asked me where Papa was a couple of times, but for the most part prefers not to discuss it & refuses to speak with Hubby on the phone. He’s got quite the temper for a soon-to-be 3-yr-old! That comes from me I’m afraid!

So, it’s Valentine Day’s today…a day where everyone goes overboard with all manner of Love declarations and the online universe is flooded with all manner of Valentine status updates and the like. Me, I’m not a huge V-day person, coz I keep wondering about the day after…you know when all the Love is spent, what then? I do believe in Love (of all sorts), of course! I just believe it exists in the little things people do for one another ever day & should be celebrated every day. In the times we live in…certainly, we should celebrating Love in all its forms, every single day and in any way we can think of! Heaven knows we need it now more than ever! What saddens me the most is how V-Day has now become almost exclusively about Romantic love and gift-giving. Don’t get me wrong…I like gifts as much as the next person (who wouldn’t?), and I’m a huge champion of romantic love…I just hate the pressure that people seem to feel to ‘Get it right!’ It seems to me, that these days, all it does, is make those without partners, more miserable than they should be & those with partners somehow obliged to celebrate the fact even when they may not feel the need! A conversation I just had with a single cousin of mine, has convinced me more than ever that this is true.

This year I thought I would make a list of 10 things that make my heart race faster, that I Love & that don’t necessarily have to do with romance. I’m not going to include family and friends, coz really, that’s a given ain’t it? I love my family and friends 365 days of the year, 24/7! There! Now that’s out-of-the-way, let’s get to the list, shall we.

1. I love the way walking through a spritz of my favorite perfume (Gucci Rush at the moment), makes me feel 🙂 Until I saw it on Oprah (that woman has educated me in ways I didn’t realize!), I wasn’t aware of the best way to apply perfume. On her show I learnt how to spray a perfume-mist’ into the air and walk through it, so you the fragrance lingers on your body like a second skin. Have done that ever since and though it does take up a lot of perfume, I love the sense of decadent luxury it offers 🙂

2. I love the sound of the ocean. This is surprising even to me, coz having grown up around beaches, I kind of took the sea for granted and never paid it much attention. The beach was a fun hang-out and not much else. Now it offers sanctuary from the hustle of daily chaos. Have you listened to the ocean? Really listened? To the majesty of the waves? To the infinite mysteries hidden in those deep waters? That’s Nirvana, right there 🙂

3. I love the ‘crrrrrruuuunch’ of the perfect potato chip and the lingering taste of salt on my lips after!! The same goes for the perfect Margerita 😛 You know what I mean! In my book, salt is a true aphrodisiac 😉

4. I love the pungent fragrance of the freshly drenched earth after the first Monsoons. If I could, I would bottle it and use it rather liberally while melting on hot, dusty May afternoons!

5. I love birdsong! I’m not very good at identifying birds or their songs, but that doesn’t stop me from dropping whatever I’m doing and listening enthralled to their magical tunes 🙂

6. I love the comfort I get from re-reading my favorite books! I read many of them annually, The Lord of the Rings being one of them and I can’t think of a better journey than one through Middle Earth with my beloved Fellowship 🙂 Another favorite when I’m down in the dumps is Ms. Agatha Christie…I adore HP, coz we share more than our little grey cells…we share initials 😉

7. I love watching horses at a gallop…even if it’s in a painting! Maybe it’s the Sagittarian in me, but there’s just something about watching their fluid, poetic motion that calms me down and sets me free 🙂

8. I love cuddling up in my quilt, while the AC and fan turn the room into a pole-like freezer! Oh and I’m not talking about cuddling with hubby or Ishaan here. Just me, myself and I 🙂 Nirvana!

9. I love solitude! I cannot stress this enough and a lot of people think I’ve lost my marbles when I say this, but there it is…the simple truth.

10. I love my own company! In fact there are many times I prefer it to anyone else’s 😉

I would love to hear what’s on your list, if you care to share 🙂

Let me leave you with a picture that is a testament of my son’s love for his Dad…you know there’s Love there when they’re sharing socks 😛

Sir Black Socks @ your service!

Have a Great Week ahead People 🙂

19

The number of years I’ve been married.

My reflex was to end that statement with a happy smiley like so 🙂 (you know how fond I am of my smileys!), but for a fraction of second I hesitated and the urge diminished (please note I said diminished NOT disappeared! This is for you Hubby before you go flying off the handle :P). Not coz I haven’t for the most part, had a good, solid marriage nor that I haven’t enjoyed being married to Hubby most of the time…just my penchant for honesty (you know, that awkward, often inconvenient and sometimes suicidal need to be nothing but forthright? You do know what I’m talking about right?!). So a Happy smiley would have been a half-truth, no that’s stretching it, a ¾ truth then 😛 (Hey! Am being honest remember?) Can’t blame the smiley people though…some things just cannot be contained in one tiny face, marriage for one, parenting for another! Both so similar (as I’m finding out), requiring infinite patience, loads of hard work, a healthy dose compromise and an underlying desire to make it work. Both with rich rewards when successful and awful pain when not. Each unique and impossible to explain or understand wholly, unless experienced. So when they create a smiley that says all that…I’ll happily use it everywhere it fits 😉

The beginning...

And now that that’s out of the way, on to the Mush!! (Aaaw…you didn’t think I was All honesty did you ;-)) Nineteen years is a long time for most things especially a marriage…and I must say I’m enjoying the ride 🙂 Here’s why…It’s NEVER been boring…it’s been good, bad, ugly, happy, sad, tense, peaceful, stressful, joyous, romantic, sweet, bitter, loads of fun, exciting, adventurous, wondrous and an education of sorts. I’ve known Hubby for 21 years and after all these years I’m filled with a quiet confidence and serenity that comes from knowing that I made the right choice. I know now with more certainty than I knew then – He’s the right man for me 😀 He puts up with my tantrums (and they are god-awful I can tell you!), endures my endless ribbing, takes care of all the important, mundane stuff (that I totally suck at), leaving me free to wander off on my flights of fancy, has supported me through action and inaction, has given me some fabulous surprises, and most importantly believes in me when I’m hard-pressed to believe in myself!! How’s that for some serious Mush 🙂 Through the years he’s taken care of me and nursed me through some terrible lows. A great man to have around in a crisis, he’s the epitome of cool, when my nerves are in tatters. And lest I forget, the reason I fell head over heels for this rather deceptively reserved, extremely talented and exceptionally intelligent man is his killer smile 🙂 The smile that can still make my knees turn to jelly, not that I’ll ever let on 😉 Well, maybe just this once! I’m smiling now, but my eyes are tearing up…so lets just leave it at that, shall we? (The dangers of Mush!)

19!

Our marriage has had it’s ups and downs like every other, but we’ve always found our way together and I’ve grown to rely on his judgment (he won’t believe this but I do!), trust his decisions and seek courage in his strength. He’s worked long and hard to get where he is today (I envy his focus and dedication and wish some of it would rub off on self…Alas, if wishes were horses…) and he has done it with dignity & integrity and I am oh so very, very proud 🙂 And so after 19 years of togetherness, all I want to say is “I love you, Darling. Always have and always will. Oh and just so you know, Diamonds always help!” Kidding! I’m just kidding!! Geez!!!

Happy Anniversary Darling! Welcome to a new decade of togetherness 🙂