Tag Archives: Inspiration

Snippets for a Better Tomorrow

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"I wish you'd start recycling your old newspapers..."

One activity that I love to unwind with over the weekend is to sit down and catch up with a pile of a week’s worth of newspaper. A little tower of them, when I have to make up for the previous week as well. It just about feels like you are catching up on an entire series of that popular soap or the highlights of a series of matches that everyone is talking about but you were too caught up in the web of chores and responsibilities to sit back and enjoy. The advantage is that you never miss the details and you save the stress of figuring out that nail-biting, heart-thumping finish as you have already heard it.

I am also among those people who cannot drink in every inch of the newspaper or a magazine without cutting out (read tearing out) an interesting article for later reference or to enjoy a read of the same at another time.

My cutouts for that week will depend on how I feel like on that particular day.

If it is a period after a stint of holidaying and binging, my cutouts would range from  eating right or eating less to a series of yoga postures that seem graceful when performed by the toned woman in the pictures but close to impossible when it is your turn to try. Sometimes it is sport and other times a dose of inspiration.

Instead of cutting out just the article of interest, I usually save up the entire page.

Little Princess is delighted to see her mother tear up paper and just to keep my catching up going without untoward tantrums  from her side, she gets her turn at tearing after I am done with mine.

Now these saved-up snippets overflow from shoe boxes that occupy the uppermost deck of the cupboard. Having realized that the tomorrow has never come and those life changing alterations that I had once resolved never became, I recently took a quick peek into one. I was left in a fix as to what part of that paper inspired me to save it up. I am even left wondering if Little Princess swapped hers with mine.

Now, I might need another weekend to deal with those.

What Do You Practice?

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'How can you just lie there all day?' Read the rest of this entry

Inspiration Untangled

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My thick, black hair is one of the many features that I have inherited from my paternal grandmother, one I always took for granted…. until recently.

Yesterday, as I spoke to a dear friend about having noticed my hair beginning to fall out more in the bath, when I brushed or even when I ran my fingers through them, I recollected a particular incident that had occurred in the recent past.

As I had stood brushing my hair one evening, I took notice of precious stands falling off around me and some tangled onto the bristles of my hairbrush too.

I worried and absentmindedly expressed my fear aloud, “At this rate, I will soon be bald.”

“Then you must collect them,” came Sid’s quick reply.

“Do you know that the seniors in my school cut off their hair and gladly donated it to cancer-afflicted children who could do with a wig. You could also collect the strands that have fallen off and it will come in handy when you are bald.”

My son was having a light-bulb moment but why was I feeling hurt!

“At least it will be your own hair,” he said matter-of-factly.

“That is a great idea,” I mumbled.

“Maybe I could collect them and donate it to help cancer-afflicted children,”   I added as an afterthought, hoping to impress him.

“What will you do when you go bald then?” he asked in all innocence.

I looked down at the strands of precious hair and wondered if my son did have a point; but with a conviction that my insides failed to mirror, I said, “I won’t, my dear.”

When all else fails, inspiration takes over.

Nothing lasts forever –  not 500 and 1000 Rupee notes, not the shocking surprise of the poll results of the USA Election 2016 (Mr. Trump being lately branded as the catalyst of ‘change’), not even genetically- acquired thick, black tresses!

It is about time I untangled myself from my ‘hairy’ woes and take the inspiration (and my son’s advice!).

Quoting Sudha Murthy from her book, House of Cards – everything that exists must perish.

So enjoy every moment of dear life while it lasts, take nothing for granted!

Good Morning!

 

Happiness is…..

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Young artists from the primary section of Sid’s school were asked to paint their picture of happiness. Creative minds and little hands came up with a colorful depiction of what happiness meant to them.

Here are some pictures of ‘Happiness’ as seen through the eyes of little children…

 

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A child finds happiness in life’s simple pleasures.

“We are the most comfortable generation on this planet but are we the happiest too?” questions the mystic Sathguru.

What does happiness mean to  you?

 

Rising Above My Fears – Guest Post

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I dreaded swimming classes. The pool just seemed too deep to my liking.  Of course, I could hold my breath as long as I wished, or so I thought; but the entire problem was to keep my body afloat.

Taking swimming classes during vacation was my mother’s idea.

“What if I drowned? Maybe I am heavy enough to sink?” I wondered aloud, but her mind was made up.

“You can do it and will do it,” she said firmly and as if to drive home the point, “No pain, No gain” she concluded.

A week of training had only reaffirmed my fear for deep waters and my ability to stretch the limits of my coach’s patience.

As if to teach me a lesson for trying his patience, he took me to the deepest side of the pool and simply ordered, “Swim.”

Fear gripped me as I struggled to keep my body afloat. I vaguely remember screaming a prayer or calling out to my father (who lives across the seas in Abu Dhabi) to come to my rescue. And then, I found myself turning on my back in a half-attempted backstroke. I looked up at the vast blue sky above me and the sight calmed my strained mind. After that, it was just me under the clear blue sky, my apprehensions forgotten. I felt free of the fears that had weighed me down. I swam effortlessly to the other end of the pool.

My mother had been right all along, my fear was in my mind and I had conquered it. As if to reinforce this, I saw my mother standing by the side of the pool with the other parents, her face aglow in a smile laced with pride.

Shreya M. Nair

Shreya is a Grade 7 student. Inspired by the late Indian President and Missile Man – Dr. A.P.J Abdul Kalam she aspires to be a scientist at Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO). She enjoys sketching and painting when she is not reading her favorite book.

My Daddy Strongest

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I know I am running late. I rush to the school auditorium balancing cranky Little Princess on one hand (who has refused to sit on her pram), a camera and a handbag stuffed with her paraphernalia (that I could require for my two hours away from home) on the other. I barely reach the auditorium when Little Princess chooses that exact moment to throw up (Oh!!!). We rush to the nearest washroom to clean up with practiced speed (considering that this is one job that I have mastered over the weekend). I gather up a very angry toddler and the baby-bag-cum-hand-bag (that accompanies us on our every trip out of home) and rush to the school auditorium to watch Sid give his solo performance for English Elocution.

I manage to find a seat (thanks to sweet mommies who have reserved one for me thoughtfully) and settle down, only to find out that I just missed Sid’s recitation of the poem “Mrs. Stein”. Little Princess who is now fresh and comfortable, unaware of the sudden emotional outburst that I am under, decides to play “head, shoulders, knees and toes” with her new-found friend (another enthusiastic toddler) who is sitting on the seat beside us. A quick decision that ‘Peppa Pig’ on the phone (which is on mute) is better than this budding noisy friendship between the toddlers is made owing to the fact that this newly found toddler game could persuade the school authorities to politely show us mothers and our exuberant toddlers out of the auditorium.

I feel sad, upset, disappointed (so much for all the planning that went in to give him a surprise). My presence during his recital was indeed intended to be a surprise for him or  (if I were more truthful) my way of making up for not being able to help him enough during practice sessions at home for I was too busy cleaning up and attending to Little Princess who was down with a viral infection. One of the ladies say, “everything happens for a reason and definitely for good,” convincingly and on an afterthought adds, “he performed well…too well. He is one of the best so far,” adding to my growing guilt. There is no point crying over spilt milk, I convince myself. Little Princess has calmed down the phone in hand and I am soon absorbed listening to talented children bringing beautiful poetry alive onstage. I see the parents burst with pride as they juggle between recording every detail and waving to get their child’s attention while the children deliver their best on the stage.

This takes me to a time a place back in time when my father and I had walked into my school one late evening for the annual concert. He dropped me off at the green room when one of the nuns in charge pointed at my shoes disapprovingly. I had worn the wrong shoes and we had exactly one hour to begin on stage. He left me with the nun and dashed off home only to get back just in time with the right pair. I remember looking out for him from the stage and then spotting him amongst the other parents in the audience. I was quick to hold my head up higher and deliver my lines better for which I later got to eat two full packets of caramel popcorn from the school canteen. I heard him brag about my performance to his friend who visited home the following day.

It was a moment of absolute pride for me as ‘praise’ did not come easy with my father. He was not one to engage in an open display of affection or endearment. He gave us the best of what he could possibly afford, be it education or a surprise treat. An absolute stickler for discipline, his glare was enough to control two brats – my brother and I – who, for the most part of our childhoods, tested his patience. We secretly named him ‘volcano’ owing to the sudden eruption of anger that burst forth followed by a cold glare after another one of our ‘accidents’ during a game of catch or a remark from the teacher after we simply ‘forgot’ to get our report card signed or mysteriously ‘lost’ the notebook with an incomplete homework or came home an hour later than usual after play when there was an entire lesson to be studied for test the following day or after that fierce fight that followed a bitter argument regarding whose chunk of that shared piece of chocolate was bigger. His insistence on sticking to routines is what I follow up to this day. Our early morning walks around the lake, followed by a few exercises in the park and a quick explanation of the role of physical activity in daily life and its impact on our health is one I continue to follow. Most of what I am today, I owe it to him – his actions, his words of wisdom and his support have been my guiding light during my darkest times.

Sid, after all, did win a trophy for his performance (that I never got to see) at the English Elocution and I stood in the audience and understood what it must be like for my father to see me perform and emerge a winner.

It is a few days past Father’s day, but it is never too late to wish my dearest daddy, my children’s daddy and all the wonderful daddies of the world – Happy Father’s day!!!