Category: #ThankfulThursdays

5 Tips By My Ma, I’m Thankful For: #Thankful Thursdays #Week 25

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My mother and I share a bond which is about 45 years long (including my time in her womb). Well, I gave away my age, but listen up folks, “Age is just a number.” *Cheesy Grin* knowing that one’s such a cliché. Well back to this little Ode for my Mommy Dearest. Ma and I are like chalk and cheese in many a ways. Yet my core values are a reflection of her. We love each other to the moon and back, yet we can’t live too long without squabbling and sulking. Ma has been my rock solid pillar, my shield, my armour in the roughest of moments. And believe you me the one thing I can vouch about her blindly is that her instincts are never ever wrong. I may have argued and dismissed them off, but they were always true to the T. With each passing year I have started appreciating and acknowledging her for these intuitive powers, as the youthful rush of blood wore off me.

 

The Three Generations-Ma, Moi, My Girls

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Hey, I’m Just Quirky, Not Murky!

 

#THANKFULTHURSDAY: WEEK #19

CELEBRATING MY 5 WOMANLY QUIRKS

I thank my lucky stars to be born as a woman. And I wouldn’t want it any other way. It’s fascinating to be a woman. We can doll ourselves in the best of attires, accessorised to the hilt and then we can be casual and cool as a cucumber, walking around in flip flops, tracks or shorts, no eyeliners, no blow dried hair. Instead, oiled hair, tightly pulled in a bun, yet manage to charm our way and rule the ground we walk on. Oh to be born a woman! And to be endowed with grace, poise and the delicious curves. I’m one hell of a quirky woman and I love to celebrate all my quirks and eccentricities. It makes me the person I am, weird, zany and bohemian to the core.

  1. Different Shades of Eyeliners: I have a thing for eyeliners and I’m always armed with them even during a 2-day trip. I like wearing shades ranging from purple, blue, sea green and black. I got to match them with my clothing. And the former three are some of my most favourite colours. Once a little urchin on the street made a jab at my purple eyeliner,”Oh what’s that coloured thing on your eyelid, it looks outlandish.” She and her bunch of friends giggled and jeered at me, as I simply laughed at her sheer innocence and randomness.
  2. Two Drawers full of Accessories: I love my varied collection of jewellery- junk, in silver, precious and semi-precious stones etc. And I have earrings and bangles to match almost each outfit along with neckpieces and a box full of chunky big rings. I thrive on all this stuff and pick them on my travels to different location. A lot of them are gifted too. I have way too many of these and most of it lies unused bawling in the boxes, saying, “Natz, Use me please, pretty please”  I also like the delicate pearl varieties with the more formal attires. I’m not a fan of traditional gold jewellery, only on very exclusive occasions and festivals when I’m wearing a saree, but that too with a certain amount of subtleness.
  3. Control Freak: The DH calls me a control freak and I get into that mode more so when I’m PMSing. I keep telling people what to do and how it SHOULD be done. He reminds me you are on “instructional mode” these days. Sample this: “Shilpa (My help at home) Kaju ko Blue waley dabbey main kyo rakkha, red waley main rakhna tha na.” (Why did you put the cashews in the blue jar, you were supposed to put them in the red one) “Surf, top wash sirf 1/2 cap daltey hain pura nahi itney kam kapdon kay liye (You need to put just 1/2 cap of Surf top wash liquid, not 1 cap) The rest of the month I could be least bothered what she’s doing. Well, I love this quirk of mine. Yes, it makes me tad edgy, but ensure, my home runs smoothly and things are under check and don’t go unsupervised.
  4. My Home needs to be in Order and be looking Perfect ALL the time: I love to have the dinner table/lunch table/breakfast table set well in advance along with the cutlery-forks, spoons, knives and the uniform set of the cutlery and crockery. No mix and matches please.  Formal yes, but that’s how it is. I also plan the next day’s menu the previous night. I insist on eating my dinner and lunch at the said time, and no missing out on meals. Even if that means overeating. 😛 I also insist on a spick and span home, no crooked cushions or empty glasses, and used plates lying here and there. No slippers and shoes randomly strewn here and there. They go right back into the shoe rack after they are taken off. Did I forget the squeaky clean, aesthetically organised, fresh and fragrant (yes you heard it right) bathrooms? The bathroom fresheners and exhaust are left on. No water on the floor. That’s a must. And yes, the house needs to smell good ALL the time. So we burn a lot of incenses, aroma oils and also use a camphor lamp most of the day. And I shall NOT call this OCD. This is the way a home should be! Call me quirky and I will raise a toast to that.
  5. I’m Goofy, yes, Brave and Experimental too: I goof around a lot with my kids, especially the 8-year-old. I also act very goofy when I’m around my friends. Yes, they have called me Phoebe from FRIENDS but honestly, I don’t mind. That goofiness keeps me young, kicking and alive. A woman does not always have to be prim and proper. The more eccentric she is the more she lives life joyously, so what if tad recklessly. I love to watch horror movies. They are my favourites along with Romedy. I thrive on the fear. And yes, I’m not scared of any creepy crawlies. I have also eaten some. I’m very experimental with my food- Frogs, bamboo worms you name it and I’ve had them. So what if that makes me the oddball out there.

We all were made a certain unique way by the guy up there. So let’s laud these qualities that we possess and learn to revel in them. I’m a quirky woman and that’s what makes me who I am. Cheers to my quirks and to all those quirky, wacky women out there. We are one marvellous clan!

 

Linking this post to Mayuri, TinaDeepa,  Amrita for #ThankfulThursday Week #19

The 5 Incredible Women in My Life

Celebrating My Women

 

Blessed are women like me who have women who have our backs come what may. In this dog eat dog world, where self-centeredness has replaced goodness, I have been blessed to have met many women who have been my anchors, teachers, guides, friends in distress, friends in fun times and without whom I would have missed out on a whole lot of things life has to offer, or would not have been the person I am. Each of them has played a critical role in making me the person I am. Hail women power!

The women I have mentioned here are not listed as per order, just randomly as my thoughts flow aa I write out this wonderful prompt.

Somini Sen Dua: I met Soms over 20 years back in Calcutta. A gutsy, fiery women with joie de vivre. She used to be my boss in an office I worked for and thereafter we went on to become very good friends. We spent a lot of time bonding, celebrating life and keeping in constant touch. I had left her organisation to join another. Soms proved to be my pillar of support. She gave my thoughts clarity and was one of the key people who was instrumental in helping me move out of a challenging arranged marriage. She supported me through thick and thin and it’s thanks to her that I garnered the courage to walk out of what wasn’t working for me. If Somini is reading this, I would like to tell her, I’m indebted to her for life, for having stood by me when I needed it the most We haven’t been in touch now for years, and haven’t met in a long, long time. But she will continue to have that special place in my heart.

Maa, My Mother-in-Law: This is yet another woman of steel who I would salute over and over again for her resilient spirit, amazing grace, kind heart which is as expansive as an ocean, open-mindedness, grit and determination and ability to stand rock solid for each and every person in dire need. She is one of the most incredible women I know. She defines the true meaning of womanhood in every way. She is a cook par excellence, has incredible knitting, crocheting, craft skills and patience which is worth imbibing from. She is a wonderful grandparent who has taught so much to my kids. She can spend innumerable hours with the 8-year-old; teaching her how to make doughnuts, playing board games, or putting together a new project. As for me, she has been my source of inspiration, rock solid support and a very good friend who I can share my woes with. She has supported me irrespective of any situation with her broad-minded outlook and beautiful heart.

Ritika my BFF: Ritika is a beautiful person, inside out who makes every moment in my life count. I love her to bits. And she is one of those few friends I’m so very fond of. We are like soul sisters. The connect I have felt with her emotionally, as a person and the way we live our lives; is something which is rare of it’s kind. She moved to Bombay a few years back. I miss her a lot. But we keep in touch often and meet as often as we can. She has stood by me come rain or shine. And I can’t forget the time when I was dealing with a lot of stuff and she specially flew down to be with me. She is the like the rainbow that appears from nowhere when things aren’t that hunky dory. Blessed to have you Rinks <3

Ma, my mother: This is one quirky woman who makes me want to love her more despite all the idiosyncracies she comes with. She has been spending countless years nurturing me sincerely with all her heart and soul. She is so intuitive and knows each time what’s good for me and what’s not. Many a times in the past, I have faltered and regretted not taking her advice. But she has held my hand through all of that. She is my confidant, and though she hasn’t evolved so much with the times, but I am truly indebted to her for being so caring. Yet I wish she wouldn’t worry so much.  Ma never expresses her love for me in words. She puts out a tough exterior, but it’s those little acts of love that make me love her more. Preparing my favourite Pabda macher jhaal (a Bengali fish curry) Alu-posto (Potato in poppy seeds) Iilsh macher paturi (Hilsa wrapped in banana leaf and steamed) despite her failing health are just a few things that she does to make me smile.. I am notches below her when it comes to her household skills and “perfect to the T” attitude. She inspires me to take my role as a homemaker as seriously as my professional one.

My two daughters, 18 and 8: These two girls are the most precious treasures of my life. They teach me so much each day with their little deeds and their fascinating attitude. I feel we can learn so much from our children. Sometimes I feel they are our best teachers. They teach us patience, the true language of love, through their vibrant energetic attitude of living life in the moment, the forgive and forget thought-process they abide by and so much more. The 8-year-old has taught me to be more diligent. She is a fastidious child who likes to be punctual and not forget to carry what the teacher has told her to. Today she burst into tears because I had missed out on sending her the money for her class picture. Though I wish she wouldn’t get so stressed but I like the fact that she is so earnest in all that she does. Her never give up attitude always leaves me in awe. The older one on the contrary, is my best friend. She and I have withstood the toughest situations that life could throw our way. At times she comforts and looks after me as though she was my mother. She’s an old soul and sometimes I feel she was my mother from my past life. I have over the years learnt to be more assertive thanks to her because that’s the way she is.

The tribe, as I said earlier is larger and also includes my amazing sister-in-law Arti, Leena Aunty, Ravi Aunty,   Dr. Roma, Amma my lovely friends Seema, Vibha, Trijya, Jyotsna, Urja, Ritu, Shilpa, Paiel, Bhavna, Mandy, Ruchika, Mayuri, Rohina, Sangu, Chits for being the incredible women that they are and for being the wind beneath my wings.  I might be missing out on a few names but they stay engraved in my heart and I will always be grateful to them for having touched my life in some very unique ways.

May the tribe of such marvellous women continues to grow so that this world becomes a better place.

 

 

Linking this post to http://www.sirimiri.inhttp://www.tinabasu.inhttp://www.kreativemommy.com, http://www.healthwealthbridge.com for #ThankfulThursday

 

 

Linking this post also to the hosts of #ClickAndBlogAStory Bushra http://www.allaboutthewoman.com and Zainab http://www.slimexpectations.com

 

 

 

My Vices are Nice: #ThankfulThursday

 

5 vices I’m thankful for: #thankfulthursday

 

my vices are nice, Ahem!

This is quite an out-of-the-box prompt. Who would think that vices could be nice too? And that we could be actually thankful fo them. Well, who else, but none other than the creative, spunky ladies at #ThankfulThursday. If I’m allowed to say so, I’d like to say this is a really quirky, dapper prompt. Thank you, lovely ladies, Amrita, Mayuri, Deepa and Tina for today’s prompt.

All this while I have known some of my vices are pretty nice, and I have not begrudged them. Rather I have welcomed them like a partner in crime, an amigo who makes those vices the person who I am, and who adds nuances of grey here and there to my personality. I’m a Virgo-Leo cusp. So I tend to lean towards the perfectionist traits of a Virgo, yet the Leo in me chimes in by saying, “Keep those vices rolling.”

So here are my Five “Nice Vices”

@@ Love for Food: I’m a foodie to the core. Wonder if it has something to do with my Bengali genes. We walk food, we talk food, we sleep food, we live food, we dance food and of course we thrive on eating food. Most would say its a vice. Yes, it comes in the way of all the sweat I burn trying to stay fit. But then what the heck, I get to experiment with so many kinds of cusine. I love trying everything, and please don’t fall off your chair if I tell you I have tried bamboo worms, frogs, grasshoppers, snails etc to name just a few. I have been fascinated by Andrew Zimmern of Bizzare Foods on the Travel and Living channel. Well, in a nutshell I think it’s a good thing to enjoy food of all kinds. Food can be such a source of joy, bliss and contentment.  It brings people together, including the family and even though too much of it can prove to be a vice, it’s goodness precedes everything else.

@@ Love to Sleep: I love sleeping. My DH makes a jab at me often and calls me lazy. Too much sleep is a vice yes. Yogis say 3-4 hours of sleep are enough for us, whereas scientists reiterate on the 8-9 hours. The paradox is that I need 8-9 hours to function, sans which I am crabby, non-functional and unproductive. I’m at the peak of my performance when I have had my  9-10 hours of rejuvenating beauty sleep. Some would say, if I were to sleep less, I would have more time to do other things. I’d say I’ll do less and do them well. And no won’t give up on my sleep for anything. I used to fall asleep at parties, at some point of time in my life too!

@@Borderline OCD: Yes, I have borderline Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, to the extent that if a picture on the wall is slightly crooked, I will get up in the midst of a Yoga class to fix it. I like my home to be spick and span. So much so that I can’t stand any form of disorderliness at all. Thankfully I have a help who I have trained in the past few years to keep the home tidy all the time. Not that I don’t put in my two cents worth here and there! It gives me a  sense of calm to see a neat, clean, spick and span home. I fix my closets myself and I like to see them organised at all times. When they aren’t, I feel pretty much messed up in my head myself. And once I’ve organised them, it’s like catharsis to my soul. 

@@Good Social Skills: Well, you must be wondering Oh! Blimey! how is that a vice now? Well, you see when I step out of home with the DH or any other friend I end up bumping into so many people I know. So, my friend or DH feel pretty much left out at that point of time. The acquaintance comes up and starts a conversation. And as I’m busy exchanging notes with them, despite having introduced my companion; they do tend to feel left out. They later tell me all exasperated, “You and your social circle.” Honestly, I’m not a social butterfly or anything. I’m quite an ambivert who loves people, but at the same time guards her precious space and time. But the conclusion here is I love the fact that I have good social and networking skills. I know a lot of people who have come to become good friends and have stood by me when in difficult times or have just been my support network.

@@Social Media Addiction: It all started with the Ryze business network which woke up the dormant writer within me and I started writing thanks to Caferati, Shakespeare and Company and other Writer networks.  This was in the early 2000s. Then came Facebook, Twitter and the rest. I stuck to Facebook all this while and continued to write on the Facebook notes. I re-connected with long-lost friends on Facebook too. I thought I didn’t have the bandwidth or time to mark my presence on Twitter or Instagram, so I stayed away from them despite having a handle there. More recently, thanks to Mayuri, I was introduced to a bunch of bloggers on Twitter and shown the way to the world of blogging, something which I had been putting off for later. And here I am hooked to social media as I cross-post all my blog pieces there, and get feedback from different bloggers. I have started logging on to Twitter chats that guide us on how to make the content more interesting or on other such relevant issues. So yes, my social media engagement has definitely increased in the last few weeks, but at the same time, it has given me a whole new platform to showcase my writings and work. 

So, there! Now you know why I am grateful for these vices. Now you tell me, aren’t these vices wise and nice? 

Linking this post to Tina http://www.tinabasu.com, Mayuri http://www.sirimiri.in Amrita http://www.healthwealthbridge.com and Deepa http://www.kreativemommy.com for #ThankfulThursdays

What’s Love Got To Do With It? #ThankfulThursdays

whats love got to do with it?

It’s yet again that incredible time of the year when people don’t mind thriving on love and fresh air. It’s that time of the year when Archies and Hallmark greeting cards, flowers, and all things romantic are making their way into the stores, and people’s hearts. Florists, gift shops and all things giftable start doing brisk business. Merchandise is on the roll. So can money buy love? I don’t think so, yet the little thoughtful gestures we would do for our loved ones, or the gifts we buy them to make them feel special take center stage and do play an integral part in our lives. But all that’s beside’s the point eventually and the fact that we have love in our life is such a big reason to be grateful for.

Love is the most beautiful feeling in the whole wide world; a feeling that can be less described, more felt. The gurgle of ones little baby, a tight hug from a Father after he returns from work, that extra mithai packed with love in our lunch box from our mother dearest, the caring shoulders of one’s partner when the world is falling apart for us, the good morning kisses and slurps by one’s furry family, a surprise visit from a dear friend; and the list is endless.

So what’s love got to do with it? Love is what keeps us going, in good times and in worse times.
I am so thankful that I have an immeasurable amount of love in my life, from so many people and beings. I cannot begin to thank the universe enough for bestowing me love from all quarters.

** Love of my family: My DH and our two beautiful girls. The are the center of my universe and have so much of unconditional love to give always. They make life a joy to live. And are the wind beneath my wings. I feel blessed to have beautiful family that cries, fights, loves, laughs, celebrates and chills together.
My extended family that includes my parents, in-laws, brother, sister-in-laws (two very incredible women who I love to bits) are my lifelines too. They have been my life support and have stood by me like no other. I’m thankful for my wonderful parents who brought me to this beautiful planet and gave me a chance to experience life. They have been my rocks and so have my mother-in-law and father-in-law. My in-laws are such an amazing set of people and I’m so very thankful for their presence in my life. We have weathered many storms standing steadfast in support of each other. My in-laws, I would say have been the silver lining to the clouds in my life. Cannot begin to thank the universe enough for having them in my life.

** Love of My Furry Daughters and Furry Friends: My four legged girls Laila and Cotton are my eternal light, my sunshine. I’m so lucky to have them. Cotton is 11, almost 77 in human years and Lails 3-1/2- 26 in human years. I also have a bunch of other furry friends I bond with around home- Kaali, Bali, Sheroo, Noori, and who can forget the gorgeous Cindy and Cinder at Courtyard, the nearby market. Then there are others like Dennis, Zeus, Chopper, Gucci and a list of others. I’m so grateful to have them in my life.I am thankful for their unconditional love and how when shit happens they kick the ground beneath, cover it and walk away. The art of learning to let go, is what these silent creatures teach us.
**Love of my Wonderful Friends: I’ve been blessed to be bestowed with a stellar set of friends. My school friends, my friends from my 30s and now the 40s. They are an amazing bunch of people. There are these angelic friends from my prayers group, Connect Ticket and some more from the Buddhism practice. They keep my spirits uplifted and soaring always and have magically helped me turn the most challenging situations into blessings with the power of prayers.Then there are those mad, crazy friends with whom I love to celebrate my madness. Though some have moved cities, but they continue to be a big part of my life. Also some friends from my writing circle who have been such a source of inspiration and guidance. I’m grateful to them for showing me the way.

***Love from the Blogging Community: I recently took to serious blogging, after so many years of dilly-dallying of whether to open my heart out to the world. I’m proud to say that within 2-1/2 months of being here I have been so blessed to be able to draw and receive so much love, feedback, inspiration, and encouragement. I feel as though I’ve been doing this forever.

***Love for my Passions: I’m grateful for my love and passion for writing, cycling, fitness, reading. It gives me so much to look forward to, an adrenaline high, a spring in my feet, and is instrumental in a big way for making me love and cherish life even more. I’m also grateful for my love of food. And all the wonderful food I get a chance to eat and experiment with.

***Love of my Staff at Home: They are a lovely set of people who work hard tirelessly to look after us and put on our tables good food, and ensure our day runs smoothly. My housekeeper’s smile as she serves me mugs and mugs of coffee when I’m engrossed typing my pieces is such a balm to the soul. The car cleaner who on days when I complain the car isn’t cleaned well, returns back off-duty hours in the evening to spruce it up. The dhobie who gives us well-ironed clothes.

***Love of the Bountiful Nature: It may sound tad philosophical, but I truly am grateful for all that nature puts out to us lovingly, be it food, fresh air, flowers, butterflies, birds, bees, animals. Nature is the most spectacular creation of God to mankind. And I’m so very grateful for it.

There is so much to be thankful to Love for in our life. Love keep the world going, our heart beating, our spirits soaring and our life exciting. More power to Love!

 

Linking this post to http://www.tinabasu.comhttp://www.sirimiri.inhttp://www.healthwealthbridge.comhttp://www.kreativemommy.com

 

 

#ThankfulThursday: What I am Thankful For Not Having

There’s so much to be thankful for each day, and to start my day with gratitude, a smile on my face, and a spring on my feet is the sure shot winning mantra to a happy, positive, rewarding day. Like most people, I’m blessed to have so much. If I were to start counting my blessings the list would be endless. But at the same time, these blessings also include a few things that I am lucky to not have in myself and in my life. They make my life’s story better, brighter,  cleaner and healthier. 

So here’s a list of the things I’m thankful for not having:

  • Toxic People in my life: I’m lucky such people don’t exist in my life. And if they ever do come my way, they just fall off automatically from my life, on their own. I have no space for people who are negative, gloomy and who spend all their time judging others and complaining about life. On the contrary, I’m grateful to be surrounded by optimistic, happy-go-lucky people who count their blessings each day and love to live life and cherish each moment. They keep their chin up despite the most challenging situations and are a wonderful example of compassion, peace, magnanimity, positivity, radiance, love, and a very large heart. 
  • To Live In a Concrete Jungle: I live in a city with high-risers, but I’m grateful that these high-risers are not just a series of concrete structures but surrounded by resplendent, lush, green flora. We wake up to the chirping of birds and a call or two from peacocks. This is a rare blessing when one lives in a metropolis.

  • To be Fearful of Animals: I am glad I’m the kind of person who is not fearful of animals, and that too of any kind. Be it snakes, lizards, rats, etc etc. On the contrary, I’m a die-hard animal lover. Animals take to me very easily and vice-versa. If given a chance, I would have a mini zoo at home. I have adopted many stray dogs outside our home. In the past, I have had pet turtles, fish, dogs, cats, hamsters, rats and fledglings. Right now I’m a proud owner of two dog-daughters. 
  • A Pessimistic attitude: I always believe in looking at the glass as half full. I cannot fathom being pessimistic at all. Even in dire situations, I will look out for the good that has come with it. I feel every cloud has a silver lining, and every challenging situation comes our way to make us a stronger and better person. I’m thankful for not despairing, instead working around finding solutions. 

  • An Unfit Lifestyle: I’m glad I’m conscious of what I eat and how much exercise I get. I have always been a fitness enthusiast. I’m a big foodie yes, so all the more reason to workout and stay healthy. I enjoy working out and lucky to be again living in a location where there is ample scope to run, cycle and exercise outdoor. I’m glad I was never brought up to live an unfit lifestyle and instead was always taught to live healthy, and eat healthy.
  • Not Having Biases and Judgements: I’m thankful to have become a more accepting and non-biased person over the last few years. My Buddhist practise has taught me “Bodhisattva Never Disparaging.” which essentially means we as Bodhisattvas do not look down on anyone, irrespective of our difference. We accept and respect people as they are. Adopting this attitude has given me so much happiness and mental peace. 
  • Not Losing my Cool: I’ve become a much calmer person over the years and yet again my Buddhist practise has been instrumental in bringing about this change. I don’t react anymore, I try to respond instead. This makes me less angry and more composed while dealing with a difficult situation or person. 

 

Written for and linking up with #ThankfulThursdays hosted by Amrita http://healthwealthbridge.com  Tina http://www.tinabasu.com Mayuri http://www.sirimiri.in Deepa http://www.kreativemommy.com

7 Things About Nature that Makes You Thankful #ThankfulThursdays

Post Alert: Slightly longish post. My love for nature had me pouring out to my heart’s content. But I do promise, that you will not regret reading this piece.

 

I pen these words sitting in the luxurious lap of nature. We are blessed to be living in a condominium which has sprawling lush lawns surrounded by Frangipani, Gulmohar, Palms, Malti creepers, Hibiscus, Jasmine bushes; and so many others. Every winter the landscape morphs into radiant hues, as the ice flowers, nasturtiums, pansies, gerberas, chrysanthemums burst into a colourful dance. Though the Frangipani has taken a backseat now, sitting silently and reclaiming itself as a bud, as it readies to flower in the upcoming spring.

It’s still very cold here in Gurugram with the mercury dipping to 2 degrees on many nights. Yet the flora continues to stand strong and blossom beautifully, revealing to us that not with standing any circumstances we must continue to smile and strive harder. The days are cold yet bright and sunny. So after a dark, chili, night the sun doesn’t fail to rise upon us each morning, braving the thick cloak of fog. Another beautiful lesson in resilience.

I have lived in the lap of nature for almost 18 years of my life till I moved to metropolises.
We lived in a university campus where we ate nothing but organic produce cultivated in our backyards. We frolicked with butterflies, bumble-bees and dragon flys in our lawns where poppies, nasturtiums, lilies, dog flowers nodded their heads in deep joy. We played to our heart’s content with unbridled abandon surrounded by the rolling verdant land. We knew the joys of climbing the mango trees to pluck raw and sometimes ripe juicy mangoes, that we would squeeze into our mouths as the juices would dribble down our chins and hands. Our mothers made Guava jam from the freshly plucked, fragrant guavas from our kitchen garden. Ketchup was prepared straight from the fresh produce of tomatoes. And we played hide and seek in the paddy and wheat fields while sucking on newly formed kernels. Creeping into the sugarcane fields and stealing sugarcanes while the chowkidaar wouldn’t be around, gave us thrills. So much to be thankful for, cradled in the arms of Mother nature.
Being bitten by the golden-yellow wasps was a ritual none of us could escape. It took a while to pull the sting out and rub the affected area with iron to ease the pain. What followed was a painful, swollen bump and itching body part, that subsided, but the pain remained etched in our memories. Right next to our campus was the forest of Uttarakhand. We went for many a nature walks and picnics, looking out for the creatures of the wild. Jackals roamed freely and howled in the nights within the university locales and it wasn’t surprising when we would once in a blue moon hear the Tiger roar.  There was a boa constrictor that had swallowed almost an entire deer but had died because its horns had thrust into his belly. It lay preserved in the Zoology lab of the campus. Once my mother found a King Cobra in her wardrobe!!!

Many such stories of adventure and fun, as we regaled and made merry with nature, have been the prominent highlight of my life. They will always remain engraved in my heart and locked in the treasure trove of my memories.

Today I live in a city, yet feel an immense sense of gratitude to be living in a locality which has an opulent cover of green. Mynahs, humming birds, sparrows, Bulbuls, Warblers, Peacocks, Wagtails and even a lone kingfisher can be spotted here. We sometimes wake up to the loud call of the peacocks. And yes, Pigeons have over-populated the city high risers, and despite being a nuisance to our terrace flora of vegetables and seedlings, and dirtying the balconies with their excreta; it’s still a happy feeling to see them lay an egg or two that hatch to scrawny little baby fledglings.

These have been my one on one experiences with nature and as a kid, I always dreamt of living by the sea or the forest and work with animals. Well, my interest in Science waned way too fast (Thanks to Chemistry and Physics),  so did not end up taking the Forest Services exam. I still think of the shows on Discovery, National Geographic and Animal Planet and I when I read stories of people like Jane Goodall who works with Chimpanzees or the Lion Man, Kevin Richardson; I aspire to go and do my wee bit too.

Now, to the 7 things about Nature that makes me Thankful

(Scroll down Please)

 

  1. Nature has taught me resilience and perseverance. Despite the harshest of climates all beings of nature stand strong, withstanding the cold, the storm, the rain. Yes some of them do crumble, like the way we do at times. But the incredible thing is that even a tree that has been uprooted in the storm grows back into another tree slowly but surely, if some of the roots remain. Ralph Waldo Emerson rightly said, “Adopt the pace of nature, the secret is patience.”
  2. Winter always turns into Spring: Yes, it does. These beautiful lines from Nichiren Daishonin are so motivating for me. Have we heard of Winter turning to Autumn? No, right.  Spring does arrive with all its glory, despite a cold, harsh, snowed out winter and the trees blossom and the cold recedes. Similarly, we must remember even though we might be in the midst of a harsh winter in life, there is no doubt that we will usher in the spring of life underscored by victory. Things will get better and brighter. So we must never give up hope.
  3. The sun has taught me to keep shining my light, every single day: Just like the sun that rises each morning without fail, I believe we must start our day afresh with renewed promises and new beginnings, and to make the best of what comes our way. Just like the sun, that gets blurred by the clouds or the fog during the course of the day, we must strive to shine back with renewed commitment, despite the darkness that might come our way, ever single day, unfailingly.
  4. Grounding: Each time my energies are out of sync or balance, I go and walk barefoot in the grass. It’s the best way to ground oneself and be one with mother nature. I imagine roots growing out of my feet and establishing them in the soil beneath me. The moment I do that, I become not just one with nature, but also myself. A sense of calm envelopes me in no time.
  5. Silence, Calm, and Peace: Nature has taught me the beauty of experiencing bliss, calm and peace. I wish I was a mermaid who lived by the sea and by the laws of the sea. A mermaid who swam in the sometimes tranquil waters, and sometimes turbulent waters, yet continued to flow with the process of life. On my scuba diving expeditions, I have experienced so much serenity and silence being one with the creatures of the sea.
  6. To Never Give Up: There is nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away. ” – Sarah Kay I love the sea and can spend hours sitting by the shore watching the waves crash by, back and forth. I have spent many holidays meditating or running barefoot by the sea. And the mammoth sea, despite its enormity has such a wondrous calming effect on my mind and soul. The waves teach me to keep trying and trying, come what may.
  7. Care, Nurture & Co-Exist: Nature teaches me to care and nurture not just myself, but every single person that I come in contact with. Birds, bees, animals all fiercely guard and protect themselves and their loved ones. Nature has also taught me to take care of myself because without that I won’t be in a position to take care of others. Nature has imparted the lesson of co-existing with each person, despite our differences. A cherry tree only blooms cherry blossoms, a peach tree peach flowers, similarly all of us human beings are dramatically different yet it’s essential to celebrate our differences, accept each other for who we are and live with love and acceptance. Just like these trees.

Such are the magical lessons that nature mystically and joyously imparts upon us.

Being one with nature I am able to free my soul and live life through my inner child.

Written for and linking up with #ThankfulThursdays hosted by Amrita http://healthwealthbridge.com and Tina http://www.tinabasu.com

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