Saturday, December 1, 2018

Poetry - Just a sight of bliss

Under the sky that was beautifully blue,
Was a little windmill bright !
Its walls were brown and the blades blue,
It was indeed a lovely sight.

Besides the wind mill was a big old tree,
It stood really tall with its branches wide!
On the tree made its home a little birdie,
And sang a few songs with his friends side by side!

The birds finished what they had to sing,
And with a flutter of their wings flew!
Eagerly seeing what the day would bring
A pattern across the sky they drew!

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

The beaver next to the house

The kids have holidays. There comes a break in their routine when you need to figure out how to keep them occupied .

I got my kids some new paints and color pencils. I also got them some coloring books as well as drawing pads for free hand drawing .

Sometimes i draw pictures for my daughter which she dedicatedly fills up with paint . Today I decided to draw a picture i loved drawing as a kid . A house with a bright sun above , a tree nearby and a girl standing next to it . I have drawn many versions of the same picture .

Here comes a twist in the story. My daughter wanted a beaver there . How on earth am i supposed to draw a beaver ?? God bless Google for it immediately fetched some cartoon images of a beaver .

I drew a picture and the end result was a four legged creature that was born to a cat and a dog with a beaver somewhere in the DNA ancestory.

It reminded me of the picture of a frog i had drawn in class X. My biology sir said that it looked more like a lizard that had devored a nice juicy cockroach for its lunch.

My daughter looked at my beaver and exclaimed " its so beautiful mama ."  So many lessons in there . Making people feel beautiful, appreciation and feeling happy about little things in life .

I am glad that i drew that beaver today and thanks again Google . 

Monday, November 26, 2018


The cafe that i saw from my bus window gave me something to write a post on. Thanks to all the cafe s on planet earth.

Coffee. Its the first tick box in the morning routine of many a person all over the globe.

Of course it has culturally been adapted in different ways as well. Black , white , brown , filter kaapi , hazelnut coffee , latte , cappuccino  etc etc 

My children take milk but my daughter loves dipping her biscuit in my beverage and taking a bite into it. I am not sure if its the taste or the activity that fascinates her . 

We Tamilians love indulging in what we call "tiffin plus coffee " . Some salty and spicy and of course tasty savoury items like idly , vada , dosa , puri etc make its way down our digestive system. While the tongue is soaking in the myriad of tastes each of these items provide , the highlight of the experience comes when a sip of hot filter coffee hits the taste buds .  Its akin to splashing some chill water on your face after a good workout . Or doing a strenuous activity and taking a gulp of sweet cold water . Or going out into the sun and entering a room chilled by an air conditioner . 

We use the "dabara tumbler" for coffee. For some hard core fans the same coffee served in a porcelain mug can never give the satisfaction these two utensils provide.

If you ask my mother or mother in law or aunts or the other reigning queens of Tamil kitchens they could write a big book on the ways to get that one cup of coffee perfect . In fact its the drink thats offered to guests and the only breakfast item on some days when we decide to advance the lunch time by a couple of hours . 

I first came across Hazelnut coffee when i went to the US . I loved it so much that every time i taste it i kind of get transported to the cool winter mornings there and my creamy cup of the beverage . 

I am not a big fan of cold coffee. With or without icecream . But recently i had coffee flavored cake and it seemed ok . 

When i went to Coorg a couple of years ago we got to see coffee plants. Its a fun thing exploring the origins of things we use everyday . 

By the way do u know what luwak coffee is ?  ( hi hi hi hi ) 

Saturday, November 24, 2018

Family Game - The Relationship Game

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There is a game I have been playing with my kids of late. A family game sorts.

Does not need any equipment. Its called "The relationship game"

I really don't remember who taught me this or where I came across this for the first time. But i taught it to my kids and they love it.

  • The first person begins by saying a word ...any word....its his choice.
  • The next person needs to say whatever he can think of in relation to that.
  • This goes on in circles for a few rounds.

For example

Player1 Player2 Player 3
car road black
night moon white
milk butter cake
birthday presents games
olympics athletics running
track lines geometry
maths school classroom
charts colors rainbow
sky cloud rain
water sea waves
beach sand castle
princess tiara jewellery
gold mine tunnel
dark torch switch

  • After say 7 to 8 rounds the fun starts...We need to go in reverse. The last person will start recollecting what the person before him had said.
  • For instance after torch in the above example, the last person finishes with switch. Then he starts the reverse process. He has to say what the person before him had said, i.e torch,.
  • The person before him has to recollect what the one before him had said before that a.k.a dark.

  • We try recollecting till we reach where we started.

Player3 Player2 Player 1
torch dark tunnel
mine gold jewellery
tiara princess waves
sea water rain
cloud sky rainbow
colors charts classroom
school maths geometry
lines track running
athletics olympics games
presents birthday cake
butter milk white
moon night black
road car!

Try it....It keeps you hooked.

Its also a nice exercise to improve focus and memory.

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Happy Independence Day

There was a poem that I quoted often during my school days at Oratorical competitions .

It's from a poem by Rabindranath Tagore a beautiful one and a powerful one .

Today India celebrates her 72nd Independance day . Happy independance day to all . Quoting Tagore

Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high
Where knowledge is free
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments
By narrow domestic walls
Where words come out from the depth of truth
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way
Into the dreary desert sand of dead habit
Where the mind is led forward by thee
Into ever-widening thought and action
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake.

Jai Hind.

Thursday, June 21, 2018

Z for zebra lines

Thanks to SG for the encouragement :)

I am completing the AtoZ series with a poem!

Zebra lines - All black and white!
Clear demarcation!
Are they black lines on a white sheet?
Or white ones on a black base? I wonder!
On the road they silently stay!
There is no gray!
But life! Is it so simple?
For an eagle's eye, it all looks black or white!
At closer glance they blend!
Nobody is so good that he is pure and white!
Nobody is so bad that he is all evil and black!
We are all walking talking statues in gray!

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Y for Yellow

Its June, and its way past April. Yet I want to finish what I started. The A to Z April Challenge stopped at X. I want to persevere and complete though the other bloggers have moved on to other things.

I feel like those last racers in a marathon who decide to complete it no matter what....

I remember a childhood play song that we had that went "Red and Yellow, dirty fellow". 

The word yellow reminds me of the gentle rays of the morning sun, that seep in through the windows and embrace us in the warmth from Mother Nature.

Its the color of gold, pure and precious.

A lot of my favorite food items are yellow too - potato chips, butterscotch ice cream, mangoes, laddoos to name a few!

Yellow reminds me of lemons that add a feeling of freshness and cleanliness to wherever they are.

As a small kid it was my second favorite color after pink.

Its the color of turmeric thats an auspicious ingredient in Indian rituals...Invitations for different occasions are printed in yellow and have turmeric at the corners.

Tweety bird my favorite animated character is yellow too!

What does yellow remind you of?

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

My morning walk

A morning walk ... sometimes it's nice to just let go, stroll , look , observe and smile....
The man in the wheelchair gently pushed by his wife ...there is not much talk between them ... he is at peace and she is in hope ....sometimes silence can speak a thousand times more ...
An elderly couple dressed up in the  best of the cycling gear and circling the park ....except for the wrinkles here and there on their face they are on par with the teenagers around .... talking about old times and laughing .... Above that , they have this mature majestic aura around them built by years of just living !
A woman is vigorously exercising on the equipment ...she is wearing a simple cotton Salwar Kameez intact with dupatta in place ... the only reflection of her intention are her canvas shoes .... she is brave to walk like that amongst all the humans in apparel from Nike and Adidas and she is totally unperturbed ...
A lady is getting her son to exercise... the slightly overweight fellow is making the best use of his acting skills.... he presses all the equipment as if doing a quality check and then pants like he has just done a marathon ...
Two friends on a bench , sharing a pack of chips ...yes that's calories instead of exercise in the early hours of the day. They have a whole week of each other's to catch up with and they simply don't care ...
Life is beautiful.....

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

X for Xray - short fiction

The month of April is over . Yet I missed out on X Y and Z posts like last year s A to Z blogathon

Anyways planning to complete. Better late than never .

The laboratory technicians at the city hospital were busy . They were preparing the X-ray reports of three patients who had just arrived at the ER.
They had been in a car accident but luckily nobody was in a critically injured state .

They stacked up the three files. The first was a that of a white male , 50 years old and a lawyer by profession. The second was a black man in his twenties , a technician who worked on electric wiring and fixtures . The driver of their shared cab drive was the third to be admitted , a wheat skinned Asian. 

The three files were stacked one upon the other waiting to be sent to the doctors in charge .

Inside were the X rays and they all looked the same . Different shades of gray.

Thursday, April 26, 2018

W for water

For my W post I have chosen something that has no colour - water referred to as the elixir of life.

Water takes the shape of it's container and the colour of it's contents or surroundings. We cannot change what happens around us or what those around us do. Some things are totally not in our control. But like water we can beautifully blend and adapt ourselves. I don't mean to say give in to anything and everything and be a scapegoat . Like it's mentioned in many self help books what we are in total control of is not the situation but how we react to it.

Water reminds me of the beauty of the seas and oceans on our planet and the magnificent world of sea creatures.  After all we the humans with so called 6th sense occupy only a fourth of earth. These beautiful fish, sea plants , whales , sea horses , sharks, jelly fish , octopi and millions of water based plants and animals dominate the remaining three quarters .

Earth day just went by. Let's all do our part in reducing the havoc we are causing in nature . Reduce reuse and recycle. 

V for Violet

Violet reminds me of the rainbow. As kids we used the acronym VIBGYOR to remember the colours of the rainbow.

After pink I think it's the second most important colour in which all merchandise related to girl children are designed .

I get reminded of the poem

Roses are red,
Violets are blue,
sugar is sweet,
And so are you.

Monday, April 23, 2018

U for umbrella

A standard part of my kids ' colouring books are umbrellas. It's fun coloring them too as they , like balloons, do not have any color restrictions. You can be as imaginative as you can.

Being able to carry their umbrellas on their own is like a huge achievement for the little ones. 

I have been amused by a scene where a father son duo keep their umbrella upside down in the rain , let it fill with water and use it as a lake for their paper boats while they get drenched in the pouring showers . I am not sure where I saw it, on TV in a commercial perhaps!

In Singapore since it can rain throughout the year an umbrella is a very common accessory men and women carry .

I do hate those times when your umbrella meekly pays obeissance to the strong wind, flips over and  drags you along . Lesson : Having an umbrella in the rain is sense, if the wins is so strong staying put at home is more sense !

T for turqouise

Turquoise is a beautiful blue green color. There is a precious stone going by the same name. We even used to get inks for fountain pens in turquoise color.

As she waited alone,
The dull blue of her heart  resonated
The turquoise gems on her that shone;
A glimpse of him and now elated ;
Oh No! Turqoise ! Her glow cannot be outdone!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

S for Saffron

Today there is a lot of realizations and social media preaching about the harmful effects of artificial food coloring .

There are some natural food colours that add not just vibrance but also nice aroma s to our food .

Saffron an expensive spice, that comes from the flowers of a plant known by the same name , adds a beautiful orange or yellow shade to food . It's mostly used in sweet dishes or in rice while making biryani .

In Tamilnadu there is a belief that drinking saffron flavoured milk during pregnancy results in babies with fairer skin .

Saffron is expensive because every flower has only three threads of the spice and hence it's a lot of work .

Another food colour generously used in indian cooking is turmeric that's supposed to have medicinal properties as well.

What natural food colours do you use ?

Thursday, April 19, 2018

R for red

Red - there are umpteen things that are red under the sun.

Traffic lights , ink used by teachers , roses , chilli powder, apples, strawberries etc.

Red is associated with extreme negative ends in today's digital world. Red spells danger ! Red means stop.Ironically today's media and social media seem to be obsessed with red alerts and showcasing the world as an absolutely horrendous place of existence .

There is a phrase that has become a common colloquial quip in Tamil these days .

" Unakku vantha ratham enakku vantha thakkaali sauce a " which translates to " if it happens to you it's blood but if it happens to me it's tomato sauce ?" :D The flow and humour in the quote is of course lost in translation.

It refers to people who make it a big deal when they are in a particular situation, but belittle it when others go through the same. Another way of putting it is , we will know what a person is going through when we actually go through it ourselves . It's easy to get judgemental or opinionated .

We say in English also right?..we have to put ourselves in others shoes . Without that,it's very easy to point fingers and get all high, mighty and accusatory.

Red is an important colour in Asia. Especially here in Singapore, when it's time of Chinese New Year we will see red decorations everywhere . All malls would have figure of the zodiac animal pertaining to that year in red . There would be red lanterns all over the place. Red is meant to bring good luck and happiness .

After all that red, I decided to wear red to work today . Beware ! Stay Away ! :D

Q for quilling and quilting

Quilling is an art that has gained a lot of popularity of late . It involves rolling and pasting coloured paper to create beautiful designs . I think it's an activity that we can get kids involved in. It will boost their creativity , increase their attention span and above all it sounds like pure fun.

It does require some patience though .

Quilting is sewing together multiple layers of fabric in beautiful patterns to make quilts . I read in a book recently about people pursuing it as a hobby. If I remember correctly in last year's April A to Z challenge there was a blogger who shared her quilt work .

I never learnt to knit though I am quite fascinated by the way a yarn of wool can transform into beautiful sweaters and scarves .

Then there is good old sketching and painting of course . I like to draw sometimes though I don't do it often. A blank paper with some colour pencils fills me with a lot of excitement . It's a beautiful feeling.

Art can be therapeutic. It's a tool which helps you focus on something completely and in the process helps relieve a lot of stress that's bottled up inside.

Is there any art that you indulge in ?

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

P for pink

Pink has been universally stereotyped as the color representing the female species.

Especially when I go shopping here for my daughter's clothes there is an avalanche of pink .- pink skirts pink dresses pink shoes pink bags ...phew!

Girls wearing blue don't seem to get as ridiculed as boys wearing pink.

One of my favourite cartoons as a kid was Pink Panther and the trademark back ground music of the series.

Pink ribbon is an international organization working towards breast cancer awareness . I recently came to know that men can also get breast cancer though it is rare on a comparative scale.

What does pink remind you of ?

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

O for Orange

Phew!! After a series of letters where there were no common colours and surviving L and M and N finally reached O.

Basic question: Which came first , the colour or the fruit? Is the colour orange called so because it is the colour of the fruit or vice versa?

Another interesting fact is that usually there are eleven segments inside an orange..Atleast the ones we get back home in India....In Tamil the words "aaru" and "anju" mean 6 and 5 respectively. 6+5 = 11 and so "aaru"+"anju" = "aaranju" --> Orange! Isn't that interesting!

Orange is a beautiful vibrant colour. It is the colour of the sky when the sun and moon swap places in the evening! Have you taken the time to sit and watch the setting sun? Its a lovely orange that slowly disappears at the edge of the earth!

Its a part of my country's national flag (saffron to be precise).

It's also the colour of my favourite animal the tiger that is an embodiment of self confidence and courage. 

Sunday, April 15, 2018

N for neutral colours

Shades of white, brown, beige are supposed to be neutral especially in paint. 

They are supposed to easily blend with other colours and can also serve to tone down some of the overpoweringly bright shades .

In social circles too be it among friends , in a class or in an office setting we have neutral people. They are the ones who are quite diplomatic , refrain from taking sides and analyse critical situations  with prudence without letting their emotions controlling them. They don't raise their voice unnecessarily and usually speak without their ego coming in their way. They are confident and quite unperturbed usually no matter what is the situation around . 

Then there are  some extremely talented  people who are good at heart but quite brash and hasty when dealing with situations in life. If they have  such a neutral person by their side it's a great combination. 

Do you have any neutral folks in life ?

M for Magenta

Magenta is a purplish pink color. It's a color that finds unique place among silk sarees especially Kanchivarams.

I love sarees and silk sarees oh my ! They are my prized possessions . In South Indian Hindu weddings our bridal wear is mainly lovely Kanchivaram sarees .  I remember the fun I had shopping for my wedding hopping from one Saree shop to another .

There is an elegance that Saree gives to the person wearing it . It's a dresswear that will always fit you whether you grow fat or thin.

I think carrying yourself in a Saree is an art in itself . It should not look like you are somehow managing should be a part of you that comfortably glides along with you .

I am always on the look out for occasions when I can drape a Saree .  Temple visits , parties , functions I never let go of an opportunity

Thursday, April 12, 2018

L for Lipstick

The other day when I went shopping, I saw a man who looked like in his early twenties at a cosmetic store . He was crouched near the bottom most shelf of the lipstick section.

I was amused seeing the different streaks he had made on his arm using various shades of lipstick and then proceeded to do so with another one. He opened the lid very carefully, and made a neat line with utmost care and precision next to the ones already etched there.

Then I realized that he was on a WhatsApp video call and was showing it to someone at the other end, probably his girlfriend. That person was seeing the shades and deciding which one to purchase. There seemed to be a very urgent lipstick crisis !

I smiled and walked on. 

Lipsticks are usually in shades of  pink, brown , red . Of course I have seen almost black shades in movies too.

One cosmetic item that really fascinates little girls is this one. I remember a school competition where my friends and I participated . We were around 10 years od age if I remember correctly. There was this main dance on the show and we were singing for them at the backstage .Not the main song , a final number as a note of thanks  In other words our role was something added on to feed our "I am also participating" ego and was an absolutely unnecessary and irrelevant component   We could have been in our own selves in our school uniforms. But then we had to wear lipstick , otherwise our show would have been incomplete !  We spent almost half an hour in front of the mirror applying the lipstick while the main dancers had already lined up near the stage!

At weddings, the little girls will be after their older cousins and aunts to add a dose of color to their faces . I remember running after my cousins and also the little girls that ran after me in search of make up.

During my cousins wedding I was around 15 and in an attempt to do my own make up I had plastered a layer of white on my wheat skinned face and added a liberal dose of a horrifying brown to my lips. My mother's " your make up us a little gaudy" fell on deaf ears. Someone please destroy those photos ! Ha ha 

I remember the hue and cry netizens had made when Aishwarya Rai decided to sport a purple lipshade at Cannes film festival.

Do you have any mis-make-up stories to share ?

Image source

Wednesday, April 11, 2018

K for kaleidoscope

When one looks through a kaleidoscope we come across beautiful patterns . Rotate and they change. Rotate and they change again.

Situations in life are similar aren't they ? We need to look at them from different angles and we get different opinions, different views ! They may contradict , they may collide but each would have it's own history , it's own reasoning , it's own justification. End of the day that's what makes life beautiful.

A kid would sometimes get more joy peering through a kaleidoscope than from the costliest toys or clothes. At that one moment all that matters to him is the beautiful world this simple instrument takes him into. That is one age when we learn to get simple joys from the smallest of things.  And then unfortunately we grow up.

In today's world of virtual reality we have videos spinning around us when we fit a machine to our heads, and machines that can read our minds! 

No matter how far we go we must never forget that there are simple joys in life . Sometimes all you need is a beautiful array of colours that smiles back at you from inside a kaleidoscope.

J for Jade

My father visited China when I was around 10 years old. He got me a beaded jade necklace. That was the first time i was introduced to this ornamental stone and it's unique colour and subtle shine.

Jade is supposed to come in many colours but typically it's a shade of green.

It's called an oriental gem as it's use was predominantly in China and other South East Asian countries.

Jade is supposed to be one of the two minerals nephrite or jadeite scientifically.

Here in Singapore I have seen many jewellery stores selling exquisite pieces in Jade and also people wearing jade pendants and bracelets .

Jade is believed to bring good things to the wearer like we have beliefs related to other gemstones in India . Many people wear it for that reason. A Google search gave the following statement 'The Chinese believed that since jade objects lasted so long, they were linked to immortality. They believe jade to also bringgood luck, benevolence, purity, and enhancedintelligence.'

We have restaurants here with jade in their names . I love the subtle elegant radiance of this ornamental stone. It does not shine much yet is beautiful!

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

I for Indigo

As a kid I remember mugging up and repeating the colours of the rainbow and using the abbreviation VIBGYOR to remember them right .

But for a long time I was not sure what exactly indigo was. To quote from Wikipedia 'Indigo was actually a plant that got its name because it came from the Indus Valley Civilisation, discovered some 5,000 years ago, where it was called nila, meaning dark blue'

I have read articles that to cover gray hair one can mix indigo powder with henna. The result is a shade closer to black compared to the usual brownish red that henna gives.

A Google search today gives a whole lot of links related to the low cost airline Indigo . I have travelled on their flight. Somehow I like the concept of low cost for what you use .... Thanks to this concept travelling has become a lot more affordable for many families today especially international travel.

Sunday, April 8, 2018

H for Hibiscus

For the botany class on the parts of a flower , the usual subject of choice is the hibiscus or the shoeflower. Our biology teacher made such great efforts to drill it into our heads that I can imagine an eighty year old me forgetting my own name but clearly remembering it's scientific one - Hibiscus rosasinensis. The structure if the flower makes it very easy to dissect and explain the petal, sepal, calyx , corolla etc.

During my childhood we used to have a hibiscus plant at home , the red layered variety. Hibiscus leaves soaked in water makes a great conditioner for hair. Squeeze and crush them with hands and apply to dry hair before shampoo ing and hair gets really silky soft. Am I sounding like a salon ad ? But honestly from experience it does have a nice effect and cools down your body too.

Hibiscus is the national flower of Malaysia . During our 2 year stay in Kuala Lumpur , main roads decked up with light decorations resembling this humble flower was a common sight.

This is one flower that comes in so many colours and they bloom in abundance on each plant . Hence having a couple of them in your garden can add a lot of colour and vibrance. Orange, red , pink , cream , yellow and sometimes double coloured .

But I think it's predominantly an Asian flower. Not sure if it grows in other parts of the world.

Image source : wikipedia 

Friday, April 6, 2018

F for Flowers

What things are colourful around us ? Flowers would top the list.

How many colours and shades and hues they come in. A vase filled with a bunch of beautiful flowers can add so much life to any living room.

To us South Indians the white Jasmine flower with its heavenly smell is an integral part of our culture.

During my last trip to India I was amazed to see some of the women officers at the immigration counters in Chennai International airport.

They knew perfectly well to display a total business like aura in their neatly starched and crisply ironed cotton sarees and the jasmine flowers adorning their hair.

Flower garlands are also an important part of our daily lives. We use them to worship our deities. We use them to honour people. At weddings our brides and grooms exchange garlands.We use them during auspicious occasions. We use them to pay respects to the departed too.

In fact we even place flower garlands on our newly purchased motorbikes and cars after offering prayers of safety .

Little girls dressed in colourful silk skirts , a bindion their forehead and some Jasmine flowers on their tiny heads are a cute sight at any temple .

  • We love our flowers. We enjoy life through our flowers .

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

E for Emerald Green

The museum was unusually crowded. In a city with a lot of palaces and forts to visit , it was one of the last preferred places by tourists . Today a couple of schools had brought the children for an excursion.

The usual silence was missing and a cacophony of the voices of eight and ten year olds filled the entire hall. In between, one could hear the "Shhh" coming from the teachers.

Ramu was in deep slumber in his usual corner , and he woke up with extreme annoyance.He hated such days. A grumbling stomach made him realize that it was time to grab a bite.

Teacher Sushila was behind the children, fully alert to make sure they did not touch anything. She moved forward , her eyes fixed on her students. She felt a faint glow on her cheek and slightly turned to cast a momentary glance at the exhibit on her left. The crown was from the 12th century and exquisitely crafted. The emerald at the center was huge . "It's a beautiful green" she thought. Suddenly she gave a gasp. She thought she had seen something. Something that she thought looked like an eye . She blinked and looked again. " I must be imagining things" she smiled to herself and moved on.

Ramu stretched his arms as he made his way out. He was thinking of what to eat and the anticipation made him shiver in excitement.

Susheela followed the children out. No one noticed the shade her eyes had taken for a momentary second before returning to their normal shade of brown. Green ! Emerald green !

Raja Ramsingh was stepping out after 200 years . It was time to devour. He chuckled with glee. Every time he did that , the eyes of his prey turned a shade of green. Emerald green !

This post was written as part of the annual A to Z April blogging challenge

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

D for Dusky D for Denim

D for dusky:

The word dusky reminds me of renowned Tamil film director Balu Mahendra . I remember him mentioning in an interview that he thought dusky women were beautiful. In fact most of his heroines were dusky and would wear minimal make up. True to his word they were beautiful indeed.

These days social media is fighting the craze people have over fair skin and the whole lot of fairness products in the market that are actually supposed to have harmful effects . Still I find most beauty products glorifying their whitening effects.

Every complexion is beautiful in its own way. Yet sadly we humans tend to build beliefs and prejudices based on this outer layer. End of the day what would remain of all of us is the skeletal structure beneath right ?

I read in a novel about a possible future where the fashion would be to dye ones skin similar to dye ing ones hair. Imagine ! People with red yellow, green and purple skins. It would be a zoo out here .

But that would possibly be a solution to the many news articles we hear related to the colour of ones skin.

We are all beautiful. In our own selves. In our differences.

D for Denim:

D also reminds me of denim. Had thought of a short flash fiction

He stared at his worn out jeans . The slit they had made together on a warm Saturday afternoon now revealed his prosthetic leg. When it came, she left him. 
She sat on the temple steps clutching  a piece of denim fabric and praying " Give him the courage.Make him walk. This is my penance. I am not seeing him till then "

This post was written as part of the A to Z April blogging challenge.

Monday, April 2, 2018

C for Crayons

Eight year old Arun was on his hospital bed. He was in his pale green hospital gown and was fast asleep, his uniform gentle breaths blending with the soft whirring noise of the air conditioner. His mother sat on a chair next to him, her gaunt face focussed on him and devoid of any expression. 

The test results would be out today . The past two months had been pure hell. Arun had suddenly become unconscious in the playground one day .They had discovered a tiny tumour in his brain.

As if meant to be in unison with their despair,the room seemed colourless to a great extent. The bed, the sheets , the walls , the windows were all white. Even the sky outside visible to the eye was full of white clouds without a trace of the usual blue.

Her mind took turns to go from analysis of the past to anxieties of the future with breaks of blank exhaustion in between. The door opened and her husband entered holding a small packet in his arms .

Arun stirred and gently opened his eyes . "Daddy!" He smiled and the man realized that no matter how hard the day at the hospital had been for him , the child never let go of that mirth on seeing him.

"Hey buddy" the father remarked and gave him a friendly punch on his arm ."Look what I have got" . The child curiously looked at what the father took out from the packet and his eyes lit up with delight. " Crayons!" . He quickly pulled himself to a sitting position and enthusiastically grabbed the drawing book and the 36 pack crayons.

There was another knock on the door and the doctor entered. "Mrs and Mr Gopal, we have some updates " . The parents gathered every ounce of strength that they had managed to save and stepped out on the corridor with him.

Ten minutes later , tears were streaming down both their eyes. The mother collapsed on her husband's arms , unable to hold on to the ebbing  emotions and he held her tightly , his own sobs coming out uncontrollably.

They got back into the room and Arun was busy at work with his art. They moved near his bed and looked at his drawing . There was the bright sun, lot of pretty flowers in different colours and what looked like the three of them riding bicycles at the park. Their crayon representations wore colourful clothes and they were green trees all around.

"It was benign. Arun will soon be perfectly alright" the doctors words echoed in their minds.

This was written as part of the A to Z April blogging challenge.

B Black and Blue

Black and Blue. These two colours would remind us of a lot of things.

To begin with being beaten black and blue. There are so many things that are black and blue and beautiful yet thats what first came to my mind.

Another thing I get reminded of now is the fountain pen or ink pens that we used back in school. As students the colours we mainly used were black or blue . Filling ink in the pens was an important activity of our school days. I still remember the total fascination I had felt when I saw my kindergarten teacher fill ink in her pen for the first time .

There were pens where we had to fill the ink using an ink filler . Then there were the hero pens that had an in built filler . A Hero pen seldom leaked and it was a beautiful unique design in itself .

For our boards we had to highlight the key words in our answers and the teachers would advice " if you use black ink, underline with blue sketch. If you use blue ink underline with purple " . We meticulously followed this coloring mechanism.

Then there were those days when we forgot to fill ink in our pens and as we wrote the words would trail away into nothingness.

On the last day of school after the exams were over some students would spray ink from their pens on the backs of their peers' shirts in a fit of jubilation. Some schools had strict rules against this with the teachers in charge monitoring their students using eagle eyes and ready to take disciplinary action if necessary !

Aah ! Those were the days !

Sunday, April 1, 2018

A - Amber and Azure

I first came across the word Amber in a class 5 English lesson on a beautiful poem written by Sarojini Naidu.

It's called In The Bazaars Of Hyderabad.

I did not remember much about the poem but when I started reading it on Wikipedia the words started popping in my head quite effortlessly. The human brain is amazing.

This poem beautifully describes the vibrant colours and atmosphere of the markets of Hyderabad almost a century ago. In fact I just realized it holds the word azure too.

Amber is a material used in jewellery and for decorative purposes and is actually supposed to come in various shades . The color Amber is somewhere between gold and yellow. It is the colour that starts blinking at us from a traffic light just before red . Our body also sometimes throws warning signals at us, right? When we have to stop and take a break ? When we know we have been pushing ourselves really hard and need to take a deep breath and just RELAX.

Azure today is an important software in cloud technology . But it is the color of the sky when there is no cloud . Clear bright beautiful and stretching away onto eternity .

A clear blue sky is a beautiful sight to behold and realize just how teeny weeny we are in the vast expanse of the universe . In today's concrete jungles azure is more evident on the walls inside some of the apartments . But when we lie down on a green stretch of grass and look up at the beautiful blue of a cloudless sky , what fills our beings cannot be easily described in words .

Friday, March 23, 2018

A to Z Challenge Theme - Colours

Last year I participated in the April A to Z Challenge for the first time.

Its a challenge where bloggers from all over the globe participate and what one needs to do is simple... Publish and link one post every day on all days except Sundays and follow an alphabetical order from A to Z for the topic of every post...

I visited the library last week and as I was perusing the books on display, a thought was running in parallel in my mind....What should my theme be?

A quote on display caught my eye....

"Life throws challenges and every challenge comes with rainbows and lights to conquer it"

A rainbow is always a scinitillating sight that for a moment makes us forget our individual selves and puts us on a unified mode with all thats beautiful under the sun.

Inspired by the rainbow and all the lovely quotes about the rainbow, my theme for this challenge is going to be colours. One colour for every letter.

Last time I managed to publish a post for all letters except x y and z. This time let us see.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Sridevi - some thoughts

Looking at your phone, the moment you wake up, has become the norm of the day and it has overtaken the first spot from "brushing your teeth" amongst the " first things in the morning" contenders .

Last Sunday I woke up to the news of actress Sridevi' s death . At first I thought it was fake. Then the quintessential hunt for facts on Google followed and it was true. It was shocking of course . Not because she was a celebrity or because she was a diva, but because these incidents or news keep knocking you on the head to remind you how unpredictable life is. No one knows when a thunder bolt or a shower of flowers can land on anyone.

Being a Tamil girl , I can't help reminiscing some of her beautiful roles in Kollywood. The timid Brahmin wife in Meendum Kokila , the confused adolescent in 16 vayathinile , the girl battling some ironies in life in varumayin niram sivappu . She was beautiful and perfectly aware of how she needed to carry herself . I was seeing one of her interviews and yes, she was a woman of few words . Perhaps that was one of the key things that helped her soar to that height.

I read somewhere that she was around 10 when someone cast her in an adult role . Some of the best known directors we know were ruthlessly self centred when casting their heroines . Fresh faces ! That's what they needed ! 10? Seriously ?

A lot of things are going on in the media about her death, some dignified and some absolutely nasty . Of course then there are articles about these articles on social media as well.

Don't even think about those reporters hounding the related people to speak two words about their emotions and their mental state due to the loss. We can't blame the reporters alone. Look at the number of hits these videos are receiving .

I normally do not feel compelled to write about a recent headlines or current affairs.

What triggered me to write this post were some of the forwards I am receiving on WhatsApp.  There are so many meme s and jokes about bathtubs . About actresses removing the bathtubs in their homes . About hen pecked husbands taking their wives to a holiday in hotels with bath tubs . It's endless.

Yes we need to take everything in life with a smile. But is it mature behaviour to make a mockery of someone else's death or a family s loss just because we are not related in any way but recipients of the news ? Will we relish it if someone made a joke of a personal loss ?

Then there was video taken secretly in the place where her body had been placed with the caption " photography was prohibited but someone managed to film it " . So we all decide to storm into the privacy , the related people had requested and happily spread it around . Its social media after all !

 One of my favourite quotes from filmdom is "with Great power comes great responsibility " .

The highest sense of responsibility needs to come when another person is suffering be it someone not at all connected to us.

When someone has lost her life this need for responsibility gets even more heightened.

The rate at which we send forwards has blinded us leaving no time to pause and think . We consider it our birth right to troll and hurt .

Maybe it's beyond control today and the numbers are infinite and they themselves may have developed an immunity towards these. But nevertheless

Let us pause and think.
Let us pause and reflect.
Let us learn to respect people.
Let us learn to be respectful atleast at the time of their deaths.

Thursday, February 22, 2018

Silent noises

My kids have a book called "Night Noises" . It's about a little boy who lays awake in bed at night and tries to figure out the sources of the different sounds he hears ....

This morning when I woke up, a myriad of sounds came to my ears .

The top on the list are the birds from the trees near my apartment . The cuckoo bird and it's winged friends announce to the world that the sun's rays are almost there . Blessed are they for they don't have mobile phones that make people lie awake; as they read post after post of the ill-effects of not sleeping on time , like them and share tgem with their sleep deprived counterparts all over the world;it's an ironical world.

The cars on the road make rhythmic sounds as they speed along one after the other . This noise is different based on the weather ....if it's after a rainy night the splish and splash of the water can be heard too! Oh yes there is that guy who simply cannot go slow, even if his rush cruelly disturbs the calmness of dawn and is adamant  to spread the noise of his blaring horn !

Sometimes there is a gentle breeze outside and I can hear the moving leaves;. the twig that decides to free itself from the bondage of the tree and fall down; sometimes the rain drops that slide like an excited kid to the tip of the leaves and start their journey to kiss the earth!

In a few minutes the alarm on my phone starts ringing . The phone is on vibration and does a jiggle on my bedside table . We have a small musical clock that my husband had purchased in Europe . That starts chiming too . These three sounds compete with each other in piercing through the morning silence and to push me out of my bed .

My eyes and muscles battle with the inner push to rush and wake up my son and get ready for school .

On a week day the push mostly wins and there we are running and running...there is a war between
 patience and annoyance ....
calm utterings and tensed yells....

the silent noises slowly give way to the chaos ....

Monday, January 22, 2018

A new thing to learn each day

I had a boss a few years ago who used to tell us that one ought to learn at least one new thing per today .

It could be anything - a simple new feature on the phone , a new word , a cooking tip , a new short cut on Microsoft word or excel ..anything

I really liked this principle . So what new thing did I learn today?

Day One :
I visited the restaurant in my office for breakfast and I saw the lady there chopping cabbage .
So what's there to learn from there ?She held the cabbage like a ball in her hand, then she made vertical slits and then horizontal ones and then sliced her knife through and whoah ! the pieces of cabbage fell like magic. It was an amusing sight.
I am not going to try that at home for i would get neither her precision nor the way she aimed perfectly at the cabbage but it did look like a special skill indeed .

Day two:

I enrolled for swimming classes . I have been wanting to do it for so long and this time I surprised myself by actually doing it . First day a few tips from the coach is what entered my system as a new learning .

Day three :

I took a new bus route back home from work . In a place like Singapore that's highly digital it is fun to get down somewhere in the city and then figure your way out using the numerous apps available , the hundreds of road signs and of course ones own common sense and sense of direction . I thoroughly enjoy this activity .

So what new thing did you learn today ?

Monday, January 15, 2018

Few realizations in just a few seconds

Today I met Mr.Bean.

Well that's what I thought.  For a second .

I was starting from office . As I stepped outside the lift I saw this man walking towards me .

Hey Rowan Atkinson I thought! That's one tough surname to pronounce .

Then the realization stuck me that this particular gentleman was Indian though he bore a very strong resemblance to our comic hero !

That's when he realized I was staring at him thinking "God  knows how many people have told him about the strong resemblance ."

I also realized that he had caught me staring at him when he gave me a quizzical look .

I quickly averted my gaze and walked away.

All of this happened in like a few seconds . But just look at the number of words I have managed to type !

Have you ever caught yourself staring at someone and realized that he caught you staring?