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!

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 ๐Ÿ˜› I mean…one has to occaisonally go about and do happy blog-worthy stuff no? ๐Ÿ˜‰ 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 meย gooseflesh in the best possible way.

This last weekend Junior turned 6 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜› I think they all enjoyed the goofing around more than the play!ย You know how little boys can get! And whileย 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 ๐Ÿ˜€ Cannot recommend them enough!

Add to all of the above,ย 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! Wellย that brings us unto today…the first day in a long time that my mind feels peaceful enough for aย 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 ๐Ÿ˜‰ ๐Ÿ˜› 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 ๐Ÿ™‚ 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 โค :* Now enough with the sappiness and lets get to it!

a-birthday-blessing-edward-monkton-6006096-0-1342798896000Happy Monday People ๐Ÿ˜€

Never miss a chance to dance in the rain!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!

I didn’t step out of the house this weekend. Really…not even to do grocery shopping! It’s just been that kind of weekend. For those of you who remember, I spent last week with Junior – exclusively, 24/7 – well it took it’s toll and I’m now down with a cold, which while giving me a sexy voice a la Depp & Downey (I can dream can’t I?), has also bestowed upon me the ignominy of a million sneezes. C’est la vie mes ami…for all I know it’s not a virus, but divine retribution for complaining about having Junior all to myself for a whole entire week! Junior on the other hand came through the ordeal swimmingly, no sneezes on the horizon as far as I can see! *Mommy Halo* ๐Ÿ˜‰

Can I also just say that I’m very irritated with the Hubby, who after a whole week away in which he missed Junior’s Sports Day and first somersault, spent the entire weekend staring at the computer screen? Surely I’m allowed to feel RAGE?!!! Futile though it may be ๐Ÿ˜› Oh don’t worry…I haven’t killed him or anything…not yet ๐Ÿ˜‰ Can you tell I’m being overly explicit because I know he will read this although he won’t tell me he did? Yup…am sending him a message…a strong one…coz he’s off away again this time for the weekend as well! Now do you see? Well, just to be fair…he did play cricket with Junior as per their weekend schedule, which is why he is still alive ๐Ÿ˜› *Wifey Horns* ๐Ÿ˜›

So anyway…as you can see, I’m in a strange kinda indeterminate mood…probably from a combination of irritation, incessant sneezing & ‘low oxygenation’, a phrase that Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars knows well! Finished the book on Sunday morning and I must say, was extremely impressed by how intuitive and funny John Green’s writing is ๐Ÿ™‚ Although the story is tragic, it is rooted firmly in life and he tackles it with just the right balance of humour and poignancy while avoiding all manner of preachiness. That is tough to do. It reminded me of Juno – different story but similar irreverently sensitive treatment. For me it touched a very personal chord – I know my brother felt and thought a lot of the things the kids in the book do. Being terminal for whatever reason will do that to you I suppose. I can only imagine. This was difficult for me to read at times but also unputdownable!ย 

On a happier note – started my second 1000 piece puzzle last evening ๐Ÿ™‚ ย This one is a glow-in-the-dark one and I’m quite excited to see whether it really does as it says! Felt good running the pieces through my fingers and separating out the edge-pieces! Got one side done too! Also watched quite a few Marple episodes online…she isn’t a great favourite of mine…but Christie is Christie and I had fun trying toย remember what happened next. As Ms. Ariadne Oliver’s would say, I’m anย ‘Elephant’ย and I do remember! Don’t bother withย thatย sentence if you’re not a Christie fan ๐Ÿ˜‰

And so that brings me and you (Thankfully I’m sure!) to the reason why you’ve tolerated all the %&*#$ above ๐Ÿ˜‰ Mr. Monkton! And because I am in the mood I am, this is what spoke to me this week…

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I want to be a Dragon. I am that Hair! I love that Hair! I still want to be a dragon. Oh Whatever!

Go be Dragons People! Or be Hair! What do I care? ๐Ÿ˜‰

Happy Monday ๐Ÿ˜€ย