Category Archives: Offbeat

Heartprints

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Year 1996

A cool April afternoon
 
 
The drizzle and the light breeze combined with the steady motion of the bus acted as a catalyst to soothe my weary mind and lead me on to slumber when….

A loud bang, the sound of metal colliding with metal, shattering of glass and shrieks of co-passengers startled me. Within seconds I was wide awake and to my horror found myself trapped between my seat and the one just in front. With husband by my side I wondered what to do when suddenly I found people outside prompting me to jump from the window. I tried to get up. But wait…. What’s this? I can’t lift my legs. It was only then that I realized that my legs were trapped between the seats. Suddenly the smell of diesel along with comments from some volunteers propelled me to act. I pulled my legs out even before my husband could warn me of the dangers and looked out of the window. Several hands stretched up to guide me down. Suddenly someone saw blood oozing down my legs and warned me to be careful. Once down I was immediately rushed to the District Hospital nearby. It was only then that I realized that both my legs were badly bruised.

Hours later I was shifted in a wheel chair to the General Ward. But where do I lie? All the beds were occupied. We were in a dilemma. Suddenly a bystander for a lady recovering from a bout of flu approached us and offered to vacate her daughter’s bed for me. We protested. But she assured us that her daughter was cured and would be discharged in a few hours’ time. She could spend the remaining hours in the sofa nearby. Finally we agreed.

The night was a dark and terrible one. Having helped me settle down on the bed, my husband was required to leave since that was a female ward. Since the place was hours away from home, there was no one to tend to me. Seeing my husband’s dilemma, the bystanders of the patients on either side of my bed assured him they would take care of me and that I need not worry. Finally he left for the retiring room in the Hospital Complex after asking them to contact him without fail in case of an emergency.

The night passed off seeing me toss and turn. My legs were swollen and ugly and they were hurting. Sometime around midnight I felt the urge to visit the toilet but did not since I didn’t want to disturb the good Samaritans who had volunteered to take care of me. I waited for dawn and the arrival of my husband.

Come dawn and the first thing I told my husband was my problem, I wanted to visit the restroom but how? My legs were leaden and I could not move them leave alone walk on my own. One of the ladies who overheard the conversation suddenly walked up to me, helped my husband get me down from the bed and with the help of another lady took me to the restroom to complete my morning ablutions all the time standing guard in case I should need help.

That day I realized that wherever be the place, whatever be the religion or faith, in times of trouble the best in everyone comes to the fore and humanity surges ahead to help the needy.

I do not know who they were, where they resided or to which faith they belonged. I just know that they were simple, kindhearted folk who knew how to empathize with a fellow being in pain. That day is still live and fresh in my memory not because I had met with an accident, not because I was wounded and in great pain, not because I had to spend the night in a general ward teeming with hundreds but because of those good Samaritans who tended to me without any expectations. They left their footprints in my heart.

Image Source: Pixabay


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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Today’s prompt for the challenge is : Heartprints
So have I been able to pull it off? Do let me know in the comment section below.

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MUSIC

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Cu- ckoo of the Cuckoo
Welcoming the first rays of the sun
Awakens the drowsy, brings cheer to the baby
Weaves magic, magic, magic…

Flute to the lips
Eyes closed and relaxed
Strains wafting through the air
Weave magic, magic, magic…

Fingers on Veena
A smile on the lips
Sweet melody lifting spirits
Weaves magic, magic, magic…

Drums in front
Stick in hand
Sounds invigorating filling the air
Weaves magic, magic, magic…

Strains of music in the air
Bringing smiles,calming spirits
Imparting life to limbs lazy
Work magic, magic, magic…

Image Source: Pixabay

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Dreams Vs Reality

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Lying within layers of blankets,I dream
A dream invigorating it may seem
I see myself climbing snow clad peaks
Braving blizzards and avalanches


I sit on the beach far away from the waves
Sifting through the sands
See myself rafting down turbulent waters
Body sprayed with water exhilarating


I watch from the sidelines my friends’ paragliding
See myself in the harness suspended
Waving to the teaming crowds below
The wind my mate caressing, encouraging


Sitting in front of the television
I see in me another Bolt in the making
Feel hot blood flushing my face
As I fly on legs no less than wings


I stand by the side of the road
See the mad rush of vehicles passing
Step forward to cross, step back in fear
Feel helpless, ashamed, a coward lame


I dream and dream for dreams are free
To make them work I need something
Something called courage
To take the leap

Can I or can I not?
It’s for me to think, decide and act
Each day, each minute is precious I know
I must move out of my comfort zone.

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Today’s prompt for the challenge is
“ You can choose courage or you can choose comfort (but) you cannot have both.”
Brene Brown

All Pictures Source : Pixabay

So have I been able to pull it off? Do let me know in the comment section below.

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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

A Cold Winter Night

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“Knock! Knock!”

Suddenly woken up from deep slumber, I looked at the mobile screen with bleary eyes.

2.00 AM

I shook my head trying to keep my eyes open and slowly trudged towards the door, fumbled for the light switch. It took me a good one minute to locate it.

“Knock! Knock!”

The lights came on. Hand on the door knob,I made to turn it when…….

Suddenly I was wide awake. Hey! What am I doing? It’s just 2 am and I am all alone in the house. Who can it be at this unearthly hour?

Fear overtook me. I looked through the peep hole but not finding even a soul in sight I waited.

“Knock! Knock!…”

This time the knocking was louder and more persistent.

“Who’s there?” I asked trying my best to keep away that tremble from my tone.

No answer. Instead the uninvited just knocked once again. Beads of perspiration gathered around my brows and slowly started to trickle down the temples. I was at a loss. Who do I call up at this hour?

“Knock! Knock!”

I could take it no more. That gnawing fear of the unknown was slowly getting on my nerves. I had to know who it was and why. I slowly tip-toed to the easy chair lying in a corner of the room, pulled out the wooden rod that held the cloth from slipping out and walked back to the door.

“Knock! Knock!”

Letting out a silent prayer I slowly turned the knob and waited with bated breath for the uninvited guest to enter. My hands were perspiring profusely. Yet, I maintained a steady grip on the rod.

“Tick! Tick!”

Seconds passed by slowly. Nothing happened.

Just as I was about to relax, there was a flurry of activity at the door and in a flash the attack took place. I yelled and the rod slipped down to the floor with a heavy thud. I jumped on to the nearest chair shivering, hand to mouth.

The visitor looked at me with surprised eyes and before I could react turned and scurried out into the darkness.

Slowly, still shivering from the fright, I got down from the chair and cursing the rodent slammed the door shut. Leaning on it I tried to steady my racing heart.

Minutes later peals of laughter reverberated through the room. Tears flowed from my eyes as I held my stomach tight.


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I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Image Source :Pixabay

Down Memory Lane

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“Thud!”

The sound of a mango falling to the ground woke me up from my reverie. My leg willed me to run but my body exhausted from the chores of the day refused to budge.

“Thud!”

There falls another one I thought to myself. This time I could not hold myself back. I ran to the rear courtyard and searched for the two. There they lay side-by-side partially hidden by a fallen coconut frond. I picked them up and without a thought rubbed them on my saree and dug my teeth deep into them. Sweet juice oozed out transporting me to those days when I was just a kid…..

Lazy summer afternoons at grandma’s……

A big house filled with aunts, uncles and cousins, summer vacations were fun. Lunch over, the ladies would spend the time in the front veranda reading the day’s newspaper or a magazine, talking to each other or just lying down while the kids would spend time on the ‘kolaya’( narrow veranda running throughout three sides of the house excluding the front) yarning stories, playing hopscotch, skipping, etc., etc., All would go well till…….

“Thud!”

Little feet would grow wings. Scrambling, falling, getting up and running eyes would scan the undergrowth below the big mango tree till……

“Hooray!”

All would jump to grab the fallen fruit. In the scuffle that ensued, the smart one would grab the mango and bite deep into it…… The trophy (juicy mango) would be his/ hers. Once someone had dug their teeth into the mango none else would dare grab it. The winner would then dust the mango against his/ her dress and gorge on it. No question of washing with water. But then in those days I believe, the immune system was too strong to crack just by the consumption of a few grains of dust.

The rest would wait a few more minutes looking up at the mango tree with pleading eyes or return to the ‘kolaya’ to resume what they had left mid-way.

“Thud!”

Returning to the present, I once again began my search for the fallen mango.


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Image Source: Pixabay

I am taking part in The Write Tribe Problogger October 2017 Challenge

Write Tribe

Lists

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Courtesy:Write Tribe

Courtesy:Write Tribe

Life is all about ups and downs. There are moments of stress when one fails to get a good night’s sleep. It is in times such as these that lists actually work wonders. This reminds me of the days when I held a full-time job. There were days when work pressure would play havoc with my sleep. I’d get suddenly get up with a start around 2 in the morning fretting about the work at office. I’d toss and turn in my bed but sleep would evade me. Finally I’d get up and stealthily move to the kitchen and start with the preparations for the next day taking care not to disturb the others/ neighbours. This continued for days. Lack of sufficient sleep started showing on my health.

Finally one night I got up, took out a piece of paper and a pen from my bag and started scribbling down things to attend to at office the next day in the order of priority. Safely tucking off the bit of paper in my bag, I returned to bed. And what happens? Sweet sleep once again welcomes me back into its fold. The next morning I got up refreshed and singing. The medicine to stress and sleepless nights discovered I started making two lists, one just before leaving office and another just before going to bed. The one at the office was kept on my table-top ready to welcome me each morning; the one at night was tucked away safely in my bag. From there on my nights were filled with deep slumber and my mornings were full of joy. Stress left my side and I felt relaxed and recharged. I even started advising all and sundry who complained of stress and sleepless nights to take this medicine to stay alert and healthy.

Now coming to the things I need to do urgently here is my list:

1) Get an eReader. Have been swaying between ‘whether to buy or not to buy’ for some time now. Now that I am just getting around to the idea of buying one I am wondering which one to buy. Any suggestion friends?

2) Plan out my reading. There are a number of books waiting to be read on my desk. Have to chalk out a schedule and stick to it.

3) Take mother to the tailor. There are a number of sarees lying neglected in her cupboard for some time now just for want of proper blouses. **The cloth for these is there too. It’s only that I’ve been putting off the visit on one pretext or the other. But now I’d better get it done and that too fast. **

4) Disinfect the kitchen shelves. The endless down- pour has started telling in the interiors too. ** In fact when I’m penning this it’s raining cats and dogs outside. Thunder and lightning are keeping the rain company.**

5) Follow up with my CA on the IT return rectification. It’s been hanging fire for some time now.

6) And finally, get my laptop repaired. It just turns off at will without a warning.Looks like it needs a good dose of medicine. The ‘family doctor’ my Jack of all Trades my husband is attending to it. Will he be able to cure it or will I have to take it to a specialist? Let’s see.

Well keeping fingers crossed. Hope to achieve all that’s listed out soon….

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Day 1

Discover some awesome posts HERE on today’s take i.e ‘WRITE A LIST’

ENERGIZERS

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ZEST ADDS BEAUTY AND VIBRANCY TO LIFE

ZEST ADDS BEAUTY AND VIBRANCY TO LIFE

Walking down the path of life
I’ve stumbled, I’ve fallen, I’ve been hurt
But falls and hurts apart
Life has been kind, life has been full

Yearn I not for riches or for fame
Yearn I for simple pleasures of life
Pleasures my family, friends, nature and books provide
They zest up my life

THE SPICE  SOUNDS, SLIGHT MOVEMENTS, SIMPLE THINGS MOTIVATE TO ACCEPT NEW CHALLENGES WITH THE BREAK OF EACH NEW DAWN

‘THE SPICE’
SOUNDS, SLIGHT MOVEMENTS, SIMPLE THINGS MOTIVATE TO ACCEPT NEW CHALLENGES WITH THE BREAK OF EACH NEW DAWN

A distant caw, the croak of a frog, the chirp of birds in my backyard, the bark of a dog , the ring of the temple bells awaken me each morning before the first rays of the sun kiss the earth. Each little sound, each little movement infuses in me new energy. They remind me of how lucky I am to be alive and around. They stir me out of my tardiness and propel me to get moving, look up to the challenges both known and unknown, awaiting me outside. These little sounds, these little movements though seemingly insignificant are actually the first things that come to my mind when I think of life and all that adds spice to inspire me to move on.

Awake and ready as I step into the kitchen I have someone by my side. My better- half, my spouse since the past three decades, he makes it a point to help me out in my duties in the kitchen. A great cook himself, his presence, his advice, his anecdotes and the small morning talk we make as we cook for the day all add to the taste of the dishes we dish out together. If he is not around I feel lost. A great motivator, he has always stood by me through thick and thin. He knows how to buoy my spirits when I am down. Life without him I am sure would be meaningless. He is the salt in my life. He spurs me on.

Salt n Sugar In My Life

‘SALT n SUGAR IN MY LIFE’
SPUR ME ON

“Tring…, Tring…”

I pick up the phone. That’s my daughter calling. Breakfast without an early morning call from her is like tea without sugar. One who enjoys life, doesn’t mind laughing out loud, loves the best of the old and the new, she is like fresh air in our lives. Her laughter is infectious. It acts as medicine when I feel low. I call her my doctor for she knows how to heal me, help me build up my defenses and look up in life. She stands for all that is sweet. She is my sweetener.

Books and my blog are my strongest link with the real , the unreal, past and the present. They help me identify myself, my strengths, my weakness. They provide me an outlet to vent my feelings, share my thoughts, connect with the outside world and above all prove myself. They are like condiments in my life. Days without them taste bland and boring. They season it to make it tastier, attractive and mouth- watering. I don’t know what I would do without them. They keep me going and help me discover myself.

CONDIMENTS/ SEASONING

‘CONDIMENTS/ SEASONING’
A DISCOVERY OF SELF

But wait, I am not done as yet. The dessert is yet to be served. Want to know what’s in store? Well let me break the suspense. It is a ‘she’. I call her my lemon zest. She adds flavor to my life with her love, her reprimands. Her counsel, her appeals, her warning, her smile create a ripple in my heart and my life. Though I call her my lemon zest she is nothing short of the icing in the cake of my life. She is my ‘Janani’, my mother of 73. A very strong woman she has gone through tough times always with a smile. She has taught me how to be strong and survive. She has helped me see and enjoy the brighter side of life. Hats off to this lemon zest of mine!

My Lemon Zest

‘MY LEMON ZEST’
BEST MENTOR

SUMMING UP

Small sounds add spice to my life
In spouse I have the salt I want
Sugar in plenty, courtesy a wonderful girl
Never short of seasoning thanks to my books and blog
But the best is here for all to know
She is my dessert, my biggest and best zest
She is the woman who brought me into this world
MY MOTHER

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This post is a part of the #ZestUpYourLife activity in association with TATA Zest and BlogAdda.com

Queen of all colours

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Image courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photokanok / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

They say it is the colour of night
They say it is foreboding, not bright
They say it is ugly, repulsive
They say it is depressing, oppressive

But for me it is attractive and bright
Colour of beauty, colour of might
Makes heads turn, Is shiny and clear
Black for me is classy and warm

Queen of all colours if there is any
Black it is! Black it is! Black it is!

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“Tring….Tring….”

“Hello Mom, breaking news!”

“What?”

“There’s going to be an addition to the family.”

“Really?”

“Yes.”

“Congrats………”. Unable to contain my happiness I immediately rush to my husband’s side and break the news to him. After all he too will be elevated from father to grandfather in a few months.

As the day progresses I find myself dreaming of the new member due in a few months, I find myself making plans right from the pre-natal care to post–natal care of both the mother and child. The TV is on. But I am in a world of my own. Time flies, I drift off into deep slumber. I dream….

I see myself holding my grandchild in my arms. Two shiny black eyes look into mine. The teeny- weeny fingers clasp mine. I take out a dozen small black bangles and slide them into two rosy, round hands. They looked beautiful. The baby gurgles in delight. My eyes get moist.

Suddenly I feel a pressure on my shoulders. I wake up with a start. The dream was broken. But a dozen small black baby bangles bag the topmost slot in my ‘black- wish-list.’

The rest of the day passes off as usual. Dusk sets in. Doors are locked, the car is taken out and we set off for the dinner reception being hosted in honor of a dear friend’s son’s marriage. Suddenly a car whizzes past. I draw on my breath. Oh no … it’s not the speed that has that effect on me. It is the sheer beauty of the vehicle that leaves me breathless. The sleek, shiny black look is breathtaking. I cannot help feeling envious.

“Touch gold, what a beauty,” I say. “Next time we change our vehicle, we must go in for a shiny black one.” My husband smiles. “So do you plan to add a black car to you black- wish- list?”

“Sure, it is gonna be item # 2 on my wish-list. A sleek, black car. Need not be an Audi or a Benz. Even a Chevrolet spark will do. But it must be black,” I say.

Image courtesy of graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of graur codrin /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The hall is teeming with guests in their best; voices vie with each other to be heard over the din. We step onto the tastefully decorated stage and greet the newly wed. Greetings over, we move towards the dining hall. Suddenly I feel someone nudge from behind. I turn around and lo and behold who do I see, a childhood buddy, someone who I am meeting after a gap of five long years.

Plates laden with delicious smelling food in hand, we move to a quiet corner of the room. I know its bad manners talking while having food, but then we are so overwhelmed that we cannot stop ourselves. The next half – hour or so is spent catching up on bygones. Finally it is time to say goodbye. Hugging her, I whisper, “You look gorgeous. Black suits you.” She smiles and asks, “Do you still have at least half –a – dozen black sarees in your wardrobe.”

**I think I will let you into my little secret, a secret shared till now only with select few. I love black sarees. Of course, not just plain black but black with designs, embroidery, border, etc, etc. And of course I am choosy while selecting them. So the talk among my select group was that at any given point of time there would be at least six black sarees in my wardrobe. I must admit they were right. Black always catches my eyes whenever I go saree shopping.**

“Yes, but then it’s time to replace one or two. Hah! Now that I’ve seen you I know what is going to be item #3 on my black-wish-list.”

“What?”

“Black Kancheevaram saree with yellow zari border.I love the combination.”

“Wow! No one can beat you when it comes to clothing. I am sure you will dig it out from somewhere. So, good luck. ” Saying this she hugs me once again and leaves.

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Next day

Coffee in hand I pick up the morning newspaper. Something falls off from the folds of the newspaper sheets. I pick it up. “Another bit notice!” I mumble under my breath.

Comfortably settled in my chair, I go through the paper. The Malayasian Airline crash, the resignation of the speaker of the state assembly,…….all read in detail, I fold the newspaper and put it back on the coffee table. The bit notice falls off the table. I pick it up and am about to crumple it and throw it away in the waste basket when a picture suddenly catches my eyes. Among the various household items advertised is the entire range of Hawkins Futura Cookware. Now let me tell you I am a great fan of the Hawkins Futura Range. I have a ‘tawa’ of course of the futura series, that is more than a decade old and is still a beauty. The range of black utensils I must say is beauty combined with quality and durability. Recently I made an addition to my Hawkins Futura Cookware collection. I bought a 5 litre pressure cooker. The bit notice tempted me to make some more additions, a kadai, a handi, a frying pan……

I now know what will be item #4 on my black- wish-list. The remaining items i.e. excluding tawa and pressure cooker, of the Hawkins futura cookware series take slot #4.

Image courtesy Hawkins

Household chores over, I open my laptop. There are a number of eBooks I have downloaded from Amazon, waiting to be read. I open one. But mid-way through I start feeling tired. Now to be frank, I love paperbacks for the simple reason that I can just curl up somewhere a bed, a settee, a rocking chair or even a cane basket swing and read it without getting tired or bored. Time flies and I am unaware. But reading books on the computer or laptop is tiring. The neck starts crying then the back starts aching and finally the legs start getting restless.

Interest gone, I get up, shut down my laptop and go off to read a paperback copy of a book I have received in the day’s post. My husband looks at me with questioning eyes.

“eBook is not my cup of tea.”

“Why, it’s convenient. You don’t have to worry about storing and maintaining it. It’s easy to carry too on a journey.”

“Yes, I agree. But it’s so tiring to sit there in front of the laptop and read. You know I prefer curling up somewhere while reading a book.”

“Who says you must read eBooks on your laptop only. Why don’t you read it on my tablet?”

“No.”

“Why?”

“You know I hate being disturbed when I read. If I take your tab I have to return it as and when you want it.”

“Okay then, why don’t you buy one for yourself.”

“What about a Kindle reader? Any idea how it is?”

“It’s useful I hear. You can easily buy it online.”

“So then it’s finalized. Item #5 on my black- wish-list is a sleek, black, kindle reader.”

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of adamr / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

It is tea time. I walk into the kitchen. The tea is put to boil. A song plays on my lips as I go through my wish-list once again.

Black baby bangles
Black car
Black Kancheevaram saree with yellow zari border
Black Hawkins Futura Cookware (entire range excluding tawa and pressure cooker)
Black Kindle Reader

Black coffee ready, I pour it out into two black coffee mugs. Placing them on a black tray I walk out of the kitchen into the garden humming all the way.

Image courtesy of khunaspix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of khunaspix /FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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Black for me is uplifting and light
It is a colour that catches my eyes
Brings sparkle in them, makes them wide
I love this colour that is vibrant, classy and bright

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This post is a part of #WhatTheBlack activity at BlogAdda.com


Do leave your comments in the comment box below.