Diyas #WordlessWednesday 41

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‘Diyas’ — traditional Indian earthen lamps, ready to be lit before the deity. Shot at a Durga Puja pandal, last month.

Linking up for #WordlessWednesday.

Joining is super simple—All you got to do is post a picture on your blog and add it to the linky below, where you will find other #WordlessWednesday pics.

Do visit and comment on as many posts as you can and have fun. If you happen to stop by here, do leave a comment so I can comment on your post/follow you back. Wish you a wonderful Wednesday!



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A Cherished Picture #CBF17

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Every picture tells a story! To me, this picture of my son, when he was two, will always remain special. This was taken in the summer of 2006 at Trafalgar Square, when my parents had come to visit us in the UK and we had decided to take them on a sightseeing trip to London.

2006 was a tumultuous year in my life for very personal reasons that I’m not going to elaborate here. While it was a year that I’d happily forget for a number of reasons, it is ironical, that I chose to hold onto one of the most defining moments of my life through this snapshot.

It reminds me of my younger days in beautiful Cheshire. It reminds me of hope, of unconditional love and innocence that reaffirmed my faith in life when there was every reason to give it all up. It reminds me of the little everyday moments with my son—of inane conversations, silly laughter, of playing rough-and-tumble and peekaboo, of humming along to our favourite nursery rhymes and cosy story times in cold and windy Manchester. It reminds me how I learnt to embrace motherhood after years of fearing that it would take away my independence and devour my solitude, and eventually, of my discovery that motherhood came as one of the biggest blessings that helped dispel my angst and hurt and helped me move on from the extreme negativity and depression that surrounded me at the time.

Some feelings and some experiences in life seem to defy description. They make you bask in their bliss and bring a smile to your lips, even when you know that you’ve had moments alongside those, that made you crumble and fall apart—both being equally real and powerful experiences but somehow, when you look back, you only wish to remember the one that brought you warmth and joy. Well, this picture falls into that category. That sense of purpose in the stride of my two-year-old marching with the pigeons always brings a smile to my face, leaving me with a warm fuzzy feeling that I felt that summer day in London.

Every time I see this picture, I remember myself being part broken, part happy and part despairing; feigning normalcy because I didn’t wish to talk about my feelings and yet, trying to be the best mum that I could ever be, to a little human being that needed me more than anything or anyone else.

It reminds me of a feeling that I’ve always cherished—the joy of being a mother, so unlike what I’d ever imagined in my life earlier, but one, that has since, given meaning to my life, and a purpose that I’ve held onto through the highs and lows of life.

Life brings tears, smiles and memories. The tears eventually dry up, and the smiles, well they fade too, but the memories linger on, and sometimes, as in the case of this picture, stay on forever!

Now that you’ve read all about my most cherished object, I’d love to know about yours too. Which cherished object do you hold close to your heart? I’ll be looking forward to reading your thoughts in the comments below.

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Linking up with Damyanti for the Cherished BlogFest 2017 where people post about things/people they hold close to their heart. If you’d like to join in or just read the other blog posts related to this year’s Cherished Blogfest, do click here.

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Practice Gratitude #EverydayGratitude

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It has been a long time I’ve written a gratitude post on the blog and as I return to blogging after a month-long break, I think it’s most appropriate that I start with a note of gratitude.

It’s in the small and the most insignificant moments in life that I’ve often been reminded of how important it is to not take anything for granted. And never has this been more apparent than over the last couple of months as I’ve found myself straddling between the care and the concerns for the family and the self, see myself struggling to cope with the overpowering sense of loss of things that have been very close to my heart and soul. Some losses have reminded me that life will never be the same again no matter how hard I’ve tried holding onto them. There’ve been times when, I found myself holding back my thoughts for fear of finding myself more vulnerable than I’d be happy to admit. In short, plenty of setbacks have continued to rule our lives.

In the midst of all the upheaval, nagging health issues, illnesses in the family and uncertainties have come to haunt us over the past three months. One day, I forced myself to break the chain of thoughts and practice gratitude for the good things that came by. Being grateful made me more aware of myself and my emotions and especially my response to changing situations, that were mostly beyond my control. Gratitude made me happier and my heartfelt somewhat lighter. As I started to practice it more consciously, beginning my day with a short prayer for every little blessing that came my way, I began to see a marked change. Mindfulness has been a constant companion and has primarily aided me in clearing the mental clutter and getting rid of the baggage of pent-up negativity.

I am grateful that the past week has been kind to me in more ways than one—

  • For that feeling of hope and a surge of positivity and my will to face every obstacle coming my way, right now, even when I know I’m not ready for it.
  • Being able to bring the focus back on my professional goals, at a time when giving up seems so easy.
  • Having food on the table, comfort on a difficult day and unconditional love from family while so many things still continue to cause worry.
  • My home help who has been doing her bit so that I can focus on my well being too.
  • Being able to express my thoughts and share them with Mom that lets me release my angst and feel a huge weight being lifted off the chest.
  • The little gestures of love and hugs from sonny boy who tries to bring a smile back on my face every time he sees me worried.
  • Seeing my efforts of growing a tiny ‘balcony kitchen garden’ taking shape. Harvesting my first crop of spinach and looking forward to the next one has brought me joy beyond measure. (See my instagram feeds for pics)

The secret to having it all, they say, is knowing you already do. This has become my mantra in life. I am choosing to focus on what I already have and that has changed my perspective. Trust me, the feeling of gratitude changes everything. I cannot imagine encountering a more powerful process that allows one to shift one’s energy and bring all that one desires back into life.

No matter how difficult the days ahead be, I’d like to stay thankful and grateful as it helps me experience and appreciate all my blessings in life. How else does one realise that one receives so much more than one gives? Gratitude always makes me feel rich— way richer than I imagine myself to be.

Try it and see for yourself.

That’s my story. Now, tell me. how do you practice gratitude? What are you grateful for, today?

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Linking up with the #GratitudeCircle hosted by Vidya Sury and 

 #everydaygratitude hosted by Corinne, to share all that we are grateful for from the past week.

 

Caught #FridayFictioneers

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Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a #100wordstory in response to a photo prompt. PHOTO PROMPT © Douglas M. MacIlroy

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The note was written and everything was perfectly planned. He’d put on the music and work on the finishing touches, before the final stroke. The world would wake up to his dismal story the next morning. He’d be gone by then.

“Oh, for some fresh air”— he thought and flung open the window.

Suddenly, a mynah flew in, fluttering in desperation. As he chased it, it bumped into his easel, spilling paint, scattering his best works on the floor, before limping and flying away.

“Was it trying to say something?” he wondered. He couldn’t be sure of his plans anymore.

(100 words)

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Linking this with #FridayFictioneers hosted by the amazing Rochelle Wiseoff.

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers every week. Bloggers post their stories here and everyone ends up reading one another, including Rochelle who visits every post written— a fantastic encouragement for all the writers. If you’re interested, click here to read the amazing variety of narratives and storylines, inspired by the photo prompt.

Of golden sunsets and rainy skies #SkywatchFriday 55

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Autumn is synonymous with a riot of beautiful colours in my part of the world. It brings along, what Keats called the “mellow fruitfulness” in Nature. The clear blue skies bring in a slight nip in the air and the cloudless azure skies augur the festive season with plenty of celebrations and a feeling of oneness with Nature as we slowly approach winter.

Typically, around this time, the monsoon rains begin to recede from the rest of India, although the South always receives some rainfall. Autumn usually lasts from October to November. But, unbeknownst to us, the rain gods were set to unleash their wrath this year. We had torrential rains everywhere, all across the length and the breadth of the country. There was deluge as far as the eye could see and even beyond, in nearly every city, with streets being water-logged and commuters caught ever so often in the downpour. Conversations these days are replete with the details of weather forecasts, as the rains now come to rule our lives in a much more portent way than ever before, reminding us how minuscule and powerless we are before its’ mighty force.

The city I live in—Bangalore, came to its knees, due to incessant and very heavy downpours, over the past three weeks. On an average, the better half was spending almost four to five hours on the daily commute, having to drive across flooded streets and paving way through traffic snarls, that has only been getting worse. The teen always gripes about the school bus taking hours on the road, and so the month went, despite the festivals that came and went, as it does every year this time. Life went by, at its own pace, and I fought my big and small battles through it all, struggling, succeeding, giving in and losing and regaining my confidence, through the ups and the downs that continue to come and go.

These are the days when Nature comes to one’s rescue. I’ve been a spectator, and as I’m prone to do often, have been quietly capturing sky shots through my mundane and busy moments. Here are a few shots that I’m sharing this week. One good thing has been the glow of the setting sun lighting up the evening sky even when overcast.

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Getting back into my writing groove has not been easy after the break but, here I come, anyway. Meanwhile, I do hope you enjoy the weekend and as the Indian festival of lights—Diwali, draws near, I wish everyone a very happy and joyous time, as we celebrate the victory of light over darkness, good over evil, knowledge over ignorance, and hope over despair.  What’s more important is —Let’s pledge to keep it eco-friendly and cracker-free, folks!

Happy weekend to you all and hope to see you soon!

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Linking this with #Skywatch Friday, where people post beautiful sky shots from different parts of the world.) You may catch my earlier #SkywatchFriday posts here.

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A Shadow On the Wall #Wordless Wednesday – 40

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Where there is light, there will be a shadow.

Linking up for #WordlessWednesday.

Joining is super simple—All you got to do is post a picture on your blog and add it to the linky below, where you will find other #WordlessWednesday pics.

Do visit and comment on as many posts as you can and have fun. If you happen to stop by here, do leave a comment so I can follow you back. Wish you a wonderful Wednesday!



A Mommy’s Tale #FridayFictioneers

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Friday Fictioneers is a weekly challenge set by the lovely Rochelle Wisoff Fields to write a #100wordstory in response to a photo prompt. PHOTO PROMPT © Kelvin M. Knight)

hearty-bread

It was one of those busy mornings when one struggles to push past things in order to get to work on time.

Arjo, watching me intently, for long, suddenly walked up to me.

“Mamma, it won’t happen again. I promise!” I felt his little fingers around my neck and a tight hug from behind.

“You always say, if it doesn’t matter in five years, don’t spend even five minutes being upset over it.”

Saying this, he put out two slices of bread on the chopping board, cutting out a heart-shaped smiley from one of them.

A proud mother smiled.

 

(100 words)

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Linking this with #FridayFictioneers hosted by the amazing Rochelle Wiseoff.

Thanks to Rochelle for hosting Friday Fictioneers every week. Bloggers post their stories here and everyone ends up reading one another, including Rochelle who visits every post written— a fantastic encouragement for all the writers. If you’re interested, click here to read the amazing variety of narratives and storylines, inspired by the photo prompt.

Looking up to the Sky #SkywatchFriday 55

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Hello, everyone!

This has been a mixed kind of week, with very heavy rain, occasional cloudy days and an everyday all-pervading gloomy sky that seemed to spread out all across the horizon. Continue reading

Backwater Rides #ThursdayTreeLove 18

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On the flowing backwater stretches of Kerala, nestled in captivating greenery, amidst lush paddy fields, stand these tall coconut trees, swaying gently to the winds as the cruise boats pass by one after another. I remember one such trip, Continue reading

Twin Rainbows #WordlessWednesday – 39 With Linky

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“My heart leaps up when I behold a rainbow in the sky!” —What happens when you see two of them together?  🙂

Linking up for #WordlessWednesday.

Joining in is super simple—All you got to do is post a picture on your blog and add it to the linky below, where you will find other #WordlessWednesday pics.

Do visit and comment on as many posts as you can and have fun. If you happen to stop by here, do leave a comment so I can follow you back. Wish you a wonderful Wednesday!